An Educational Philosophies Course in a Performance-Based Program

Report on the ways that an educational philosophies course in a performance-based program enables teacher candidates to identify, reflect upon, and evaluate a wide range of educational purposes.

Using teacher candidates’ reactions to selected texts in the history of educational thought as evidence shows that an encounter with provocative foundational ideas can promote effective value formation and reflective analysis of educational practice. Report on how a foundations course at a small urban college has used an introduction to educational ends to prompt teacher candidates to identify, reflect upon, and analyze their own personal and professional values. Demonstrate that although personal and professional values may not be measurable in the same way that answers on a standardized test are, the self-conscious articulation of values that a foundations course encourages can affect teacher candidates’ reflective practice in useful ways. Show how a required, two-credit introduction to the philosophical foundations of education not only enables prospective teachers to become more aware of the centuries-old traditions that the progressivist, constructivist, student-centered orthodoxy has evolved out of and pushed off against.