Seeking Common Ground: Piaget and Skinner on the Nature of Learning

This piece discusses the educational philosophies of both Piaget and Skinner, describing their similarities both to John Dewey and to each other. It also explains the supposed differences between Piaget's and Skinner's progressive educational ideas, expressing both in a positive light.

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This short commentary piece describes how the celebrated Scripps Howard Spelling Bee promotes and encourages traditional education philosophies. Clyne notes how the children involved are bright, talented, and confident in their educational abilities, and ascribes this to the role of traditional education values rather than progressive ones.

This interview presents the reader with two different educational philosophies and those who hold to them. These two ideologies are described as the "academic achievement" and the "non-academic goal" categories, and are held to by "the public" and educators respectively. Cunningham seems to hold to the "academic achievement" philosophy of learning, and thus he cites many facts in favor of this...

This brief article reports on the relatively unheard of education philosophy of "Direct Instruction." Cheney highlights its academic success in urban schools especially, a fact attributed to the devotion the "Direct Instruction" method pays to the teacher-centered philosophy of education. Although disliked and ignored by those who hold to the student-centered philosophy of education, Cheney...

"Engelmann is a pariah in educational circles not because he grooms like a biker, dresses like a farmer, and curses like a sailor, though all those things are true. Nor are his methods shunned because he isn't part of the academic guild, although his only degree is a B.S. in philosophy from the University of Illinois. He is an outcast because for thirty years, he has succeeded by defying all...

As this article demonstrates, philosophies on how children learn are not simply limited to the public and private schools of our day. Isabel Lyman's piece explores the two main philosophies of homeschooling: the progressive approach promoted by John Holt known as "unschooling," and the traditional approach promoted by Raymond Moore. Lyman presents information on both and gives a general...

As a proponent of Piaget's educational philosophies, Seymour Papert reports on Piaget's background and his interest concerning how children learn. According to Papert, Piaget believed that correcting children on their right and wrong ideas caused their theory forming ability to be stifled. The end of this article acknowledges that some of Piaget's theories have been disproved, but the author...

Dealing with the subject of early preschool education, Elkind advances the idea that children should not be pressured into typical learning environments at extremely young ages. This article gives a quick overview of some of the various early education philosophies, such as the Montessori and Waldorf systems, while also arguing that early high pressure education leads to damaging results in...

Spaulding notes how the influence of progressive education philosophies in America have gradually led to a failure to teach our nation's history to students. In view of the recent aggressive assault against terrorism, Spaulding believes it is time for Americans to begin a mission to "relearn America's principles and purposes" in the realm of education.

Commenting on President Obama's plan for "universal preschool," Chester Finn reports that the idea is not as good as it sounds. Finn points out some of the myths involved with current preschools and then proposes alternative ways to help young children learn better.

This short opinion piece proposes the idea that progressive philosophy is not the problem with America's educational system. Jesness points out that Japan's high academic quality is undiminished by their love of Dewey's ideologies, and suggests that American education suffers from a lack of good content rather than any philosophy, traditional or progressive.

Ghate describes how despite their success, traditional education practices like phonics are often pushed aside in favor of more progressive ones like "whole language." This article gives a very brief look at how progressive philosophies originated and declares that "the use of whole language results in nothing but illiteracy."

This article finds Cheney deftly explaining the differences between two major schools of thought on child education, namely, the whole-language approach and the phonics approach. These two philosophies both claim that children learn better under their respective concepts, but Cheney cites multiple examples and research which clearly favor the effectiveness of the phonics approach. Cheney warns...

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The above chart gives a quick overview between the two main educational philosophies: traditional and progressive.

"Project Follow Through" compared multiple childhood education philosophies, including the five listed in the chart above."

Analysis Report White Paper

This essay describes the author's journey in understanding the progressive educational philosophy of constructivism. Dougiamas discusses the different modes of constructivism, citing numerous opinions of experts in the field. The conclusion is especially relevant to the area of childhood education for it lists several ways in which constructivism is enacted in the classroom.

"This guide examines claims for 24 schoolwide programs-- programs that promise to improve student learning by changing the entire school. Focusing on quantitative achievement measures such as test scores, grades, and graduation rates, the report was prepared for educators and others to assist them in their investigation of different approaches to school reform."

This detailed report describes the use of the "Direct Instruction" method in several Wisconsin schools and wholeheartedly argues for its effectiveness with both privileged and underprivileged students. This report compares and contrasts the "Direct Instruction" method with other more prevalent education philosophies that are student-centered, while also providing research reports, cost-...

In their comparison of both the phonics and whole language approaches to reading, Collins and Gwynne acknowledge that research is on the side of the phonics philosophy. This article gives equal time to both viewpoints, while also providing a look into the ideology of those who advocate for whole language instruction. Collins conclusion suggests that children learn best when taking...

While much of the information concerning the philosophies on how children learn is focused on the elementary grades, this report focuses on how progressive philosophies have caused the decline in achievement in the middle grades. Yecke's report details the need for middle schools to once again place a high value on traditional education philosophies in order to produce highly motivated,...

As a self-ascribed "political liberal and an educational conservative," Hirsch gives a detailed study concerning how children learn better under more traditional education philosophies. This lengthy article cites both national and international studies which suggest that children learn best under repetitive, teacher-directed, challenging education standards. Hirsch also notes the effectiveness...

This piece discusses the educational philosophies of both Piaget and Skinner, describing their similarities both to John Dewey and to each other. It also explains the supposed differences between Piaget's and Skinner's progressive educational ideas, expressing both in a positive light.

As an educational psychologist, Professor Stone believes that the philosophies on how children learn are hatched in the schools that train teachers. A majority of teachers today are being trained to follow the "learner-centered" philosophy, a method which...

Dr. Carson traces some of the history of Progressive education and attempts to explain what was behind the ideals of men such as Dewey, Kilpatrick, and Rugg. Carson believes that the rise of Progressive education was a subtle attempt to institute socialistic thought processes into the minds of children, a fact which gradually abolished traditional principles and caused education to become more...

This piece concentrates on Ohio schools and discusses whether or not their proclivity is more toward the progressive or traditional philosophies of education. Containing clear information on how the components of progressive or traditional philosophies operate, Chandler's study offers interesting results which suggest that more schools desire to be on the progressive end of the philosophical...

Douglas Carnine presents solid evidence for the effectiveness of traditional education philosophies and questions why ineffective practices are still widely promoted. Chester Finn summarizes Carnine's thesis nicely by saying,

"In other professions, such as medicine, scientific research is taken seriously, because it usually brings clarity and progress. We...

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This short clip composed mainly of text explains what is involved for children to learn to read using the whole word approach. It discusses the many titles this learning philosophy is known as, and demonstrates the ease of phonetic instruction compared to whole word. Also gives numerous hard-core statistics and facts on this controversy.

A brief explanation of how English is a phonetic language and not a symbol language, a fact which shows why the whole-language method makes it so difficult for children to learn to read correctly. Price uses interesting examples and visuals to demonstrate his point clearly.

Primary Document

This speech presents facts about how children learn better when they are challenged and not squelched by the common "developmentally appropriate" educational approaches that are normally encouraged. Hirsch reports on how some education research has been overlooked in favor of research that simply supports the ideologies and philosophies of the educator population...

This link features a speech given by George Cunningham on the ideological differences between teacher's associations and the No Child Left Behind legislation. Cunningham asserts that while NCLB's philosophy focuses on high student achievement, teachers are being trained to instruct students with progressive methods. Cunningham fears that teacher associations will...

In this piece Dewey truly does lay out his own "creed" on education, even beginning each paragraph with, "I believe."  Using his extensive background in psychology and combining it with his social philosophy, Dewey presents five sections concerning education:
1)      What Education Is
2)     ...

Behaviorism advocate B.F. Skinner describes his hopes that future education methods will focus on encouraging children to learn and discover out of desire rather than out of fear of punishment. Convinced that educational methods will be much more in line with his way of thinking by 1984, Skinner believes that not only students, but also teachers will feel better...

The Christian school is to be favored for two reasons.

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