Union, New Jersey
Foundations of Education
Course Number: EMSE 5561
Semester Hours: Three
Prerequisites: Bachelor’s Degree
Limitations on Enrollment: 20
Required: For Classroom Instruction Option in the Curriculum and
Instruction Master of Arts Program
Catalog Description: An introduction to the historical, philosophical, social, psychological, political, economic, legal, and cultural foundations of education. Particular emphasis on the application of these foundations for the practice of teaching.
N.B. - In order to ensure full participation, any student with a disabling condition requiring
special accommodations (e.g.. tape recorders, special adaptive equipment, special note-taking or test-taking procedures) will be strongly encouraged to contact the professor at the beginning of the course. For the student’s convenience, the professor’s office hours and telephone number will be listed on the syllabus.
Union, New Jersey
Foundations of Education
I. Course Objectives
Students will achieve growth towards becoming informed, dynamic professionals as evidenced by demonstration of proficiency in knowledge, value development, and skill application. The student will:
A. examine the importance of a foundational approach to the study of education (knowledge, skills, dispositions)
B. understand and analyze the historical forces that have shaped American education (knowledge)
C. distinguish among various philosophical traditions and create a personalized philosophical stance regarding the educational practice (knowledge)
D. identify major social trends and cases affecting schools and the curriculum (knowledge)
E. apply various psychological (including behavioral and cognitive) approaches to problems and issues in education, particularly in reference to the student (knowledge)
F. assess the political and economic dimension of educational practice within society as related to districts and schools (knowledge)
G. relate legal issues in education to practice of teaching within the school (knowledge)
H. evaluate the importance of various cultural factors affecting education and philosophy (knowledge, skills, dispositions)
I. analyze and evaluate various critical issues in education by applying a foundational approach (knowledge, skills, dispositions)
II. Course Content
A. Importance of a foundational approach
1. Analyzing and applying a multi-dimensional approach to understanding educational issues and problems.
2. Examining normative, interpretive, and critical issues of the purpose of schools.
3. Appreciating a holistic approach to solving critical problems in education.
B. Historical forces affecting American education
1. European antecedents of American education
a. Role of ancient education
b. Education in the Middle Ages
c. Education during the Renaissance
d. Influence of Reformation to the growth of literacy and idea of free public education
e. Influence of Rousseau, Pestalozzi, Herbert and Lancaster
2. Teaching and schools in the American Colonies
a. Interpretation of the dual-track system
b. Integration of religion and education
c. Establishment of early education laws in Massachusetts (1642 & 1647)
d. Development of teaching methods and school organization.
e. Neglect of African-American and Native American education
3. Goals of education during the revolutionary period.
a. Decline of the European influence
b. Emergence of leading figures: Franklin, Jefferson, Webster.
c. Inattention to education of women
4. Struggle for state-supported community schools
a. Horace Mann
b. McGuffey readers
c. Morrill Land-Grant Act
5. Compulsory education and the emerging teaching profession.
a. Spread of community schools
b. Incorporation of scientific management
c. Influence of Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. Dubois
d. Introduction of Frocbers kindergarten
e. Establishment of NEA and AFT
f. Emergence of bureaucracy in education
6. Aims of education during the Progressive era
a. Dewey and Montessori
7. Educational change during modern post-war era.
a. Russians’ Sputnick
b. Brown vs. Board of Education, Topeka, 1954
c. Presidents Kennedy and Johnson: War on Poverty
d. Open Education
e. A Nation at Risk
f. School restructuring and reform
C. Philosophical underpinnings of teaching
1. Determinants of an educational philosophy
a. Beliefs about how people learn
b. Prior educational influences
c. School philosophy
d. Purposes for educational philosophy
2. Branches of philosophy
3. Five modern philosophical orientations to teaching
d. Social reconstructionism
4. Psychological orientation influencing teaching philosophies
a. Humanistic psychology - Carl Rogers
b. Behavioral psychology - B.F. Skinner
c. Contructivism - Louis Vygotsky
D. Social factors influencing schools and curriculum
1. Aims of Education
a. Committee of Ten/Fifteen
b, National commissions and committees
c. Goals 2000
d. Core curriculum content standards
2. Schools in Society
a. Metaphors for schools
b. Relationships and influences
c. Categories of schools
3. Schools as social institutions
a. Schools mirror natural American culture and local culture
b. Schools develop own culture
c. Schools as mini-democracies
d. Schools as social levers
e. Schools as reproduce of social inequities
4. Social problems affecting schools and curriculum
a. Various social problems
b. Children at risk
c. Poverty, family distress, substance abuse, violence, crime, teen pregnancy, HIV/ AIDS, etc.
d. Children from all ethnic and racial groups and all socioeconomic levels
e. Curriculum modifications
5. Role of Schools in addressing societal problems
a. Intervention and preventative problems
b. Peer counseling programs
c. Compensatory programs
d. Alternative Schools
1. Learning Theories
a. Mental discipline
c. Cognitive psychology
2. Behavioral Approach to learning
b. E.L. Thomdike and the Law of Effect
c. Operant Conditioning
d. Educational implications of behaviorism
3. Cognitive approaches to learning
a. Developmental stages
b. Piaget’s approach to cognitive development
c. Vygotsky’s approach to cognitive development
d. Bruner’s approach to cognitive development
e. The contructivist approach
f. Information-processing approach
4. Intelligence and creativity
a. Nature-nurture debate
b. Multiple-intelligence theory
5. Social and emotional development
a. Erikson’s Theory of Psychosocial Development
b. Moral development (Piaget, Kohlberg, and Gilligan)
c. Null’s Natural Life Energies
a. Factors related to motivational level
b. Theories of motivation
7. Learning difficulties
a. Learning disabilities
b. Other disabilities (mental, emotional, sensory, and physical)
c. Use of technology with students with difficulties
8. Assessment and evaluative instruments
a. Teacher-made tests
b. Standardized tests
F. Political influences in education
1. Role of local community in school
a. Constitutional governance
b. Local school districts
c. Local School boards
d. School governance (site-based management)
e. PTA or PTO
2. Role of state government
a. 10th Amendment
b. Domestic crises and issues
3. Role of federal government
a. Preamble to constitution - General Welfare Clauses
b. National Crises and issues
c. U.S. Department of Education
4. School Finance
a. Local property taxes
b. State educational revenues
c. Federal aid to education
5. Funding for equity and excellence
a. Serrano vs. Peist and San Antonio Independent School District vs. Rodriguez
b. State equalization principle
c. School choice and Voucher programs
G. Legal concerns in American Education
1. Professional code of ethics
a. Teaching as an ethical enterprise
b. Ethical dilemma in teaching
2. Teachers’ legal rights
a. Due process
3. Academic freedom
a. Scopes (monkey) Trial
b. Pickering vs. Board of Education, 1968
4. Internet, e-mail, and multimedia applications
b. Relationship with teacher
5. Legal responsibilities of teacher
a. Contractual obligations
b. Tort-law (educational malpractice)
c. Report child abuse
d. Copyright laws
6. Legal rights of students and parents
a. Freedom of expression
c. Dress code
d. Suspension and expulsion
e. Search and seizure
7. Legal rights of school district
a. Corporal punishment
b. Sexual harassment
c. Religious expression
d. Home schooling
H. Cultural influences in education
1. Diversity embedded in America
a. Definitions of culture/ethnicity
b. From melting pot to salad school (multi-culturalism)
c. Percentage of minority groups
d. Achievement levels of various groups (African-American, NativeAmerican, Latino and Hispanic American, Asian American)
e. Limited English proficiency - CLEF Students
2. Equal educational opportunity
3. Bilingual education
4. Multi-cultural education
a. Five dimensions (Jones Banks and Ronald Takaki)
b. Multi-cultural curricula
5. Gender issues
b. Sex role socialization
c. Sex role stereotyping
d. Needs of gay, lesbian or bisexual students
I. Critical issues in Education
1. Application of foundational issues to understanding and solving problems in classroom and school
III. Methods of Instruction
B. Discussion — teacher-directed
C. Discussion - student directed
D. Individual projects
E. Individual reports
F. Cooperative learning
G. Case studies
IV. Methods of Evaluation
A. Examinations (knowledge/skills)
B. Student presentations (skills/values)
C. Portfolio that integrates foundations
D. Case studies
Parkay, F.W., & Stanford, B. H. (2009). Becoming a teacher (8th ed). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
A. Contemporary Works
Aggarawal, J.C. (2007). Great philosophers and thinkers on education. India: Shippra Publications.
Cahn, S.M. (2005). Exploring philosophy: An introductory anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.
Curren, R. (2006). Philosophy of education: An anthology. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Limited.
Fearn, N. (2005). The latest answers to the oldest questions: A philosophical adventure with the world’s greatest thinkers. New York: Publishers Group West.
Jackson, F. and Smith, M. (2005). The Oxford handbook of contemporary philosophy. New York: Oxford University Press.
Markie, P., Mathews, G. and Curren, R. (2005). A companion to the philosophy of education. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing Limited.
McLaren, P. (2006). Life in schools: An introduction to critical pedagogy in the foundations of education. New York: Longman.
Noddings, N. (2006). Philosophy of Education. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Peters, M.A., Burbles, N., and Smeyers, P. (2007). Showing and doing: Wittgenstein as a pedagogical philosopher – interventions, education, philosophy and culture. Boulder, CO: Paradigm Publishers.
Scheffler, I. (2005). Gallery of scholars: A philosopher’s recollection (Philosophy and education. The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
B. Seminal Works
Aquinas, T. (1953). The teacher – the mind. Chicago: Henry Regnery.
Bayles, E. (1966). Pragmatism and education. New York: Harper & Row.
Beck, C. (1974). Educational philosophy and theory: An introduction. Boston: Little, Brown
Berkley, G. (1910). Principles of human knowledge. New York: E.P. Dutton.
Bode, B. (1938). Progressive education at the crossroads. New York: Newson.
Brameld. T. (1956). Toward a reconstructed philosophy of education. New York: Dryden.
Brameld. T. (1971). Patterns of educational philosophy. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Broudy, H.S. (1961). Building a philosophy of education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Brubacher, J.S. (1939). Modern philosophies of education. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Butler, J. (1966). Idealism in education. New York: Harper & Row.
Childs, J.L. (1931). Education and the philosophy of experimentalism. New York: Appleton-Century.
Childs, J.L. (1956). American pragmatism and education. New York: Holt, Rinehart, and Winston.
Dewey, J. (1910). The influence of Darwin on philosophy and other essays in contemporary thought. New York: Henry Holt.
Freire, P. (1973). Education for a critical consciousness. New York: Seabury Press.
Froebel, F. (1974). The education of man. New York: A.M. Kelly.
Horne, H. H. (1935). The democratic philosophy of education. New York: McMillan.
Kilpatrick, W.H. (1927). Education for a changing civilization. New York: McMillan.
Locke, J. (1964). John Locke on education. (p. Gay, Ed.). New York: Teachers College Press.
Maritain, J. (1943). Education at the crossroads. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Marler, C.D. (1975). Philosophy and schooling. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.
Ozmon, H. (1969). Utopias and education. Minneapolis: Burgess.
Ozmon, H. (1972). Dialogue in philosophy of education. Columbus, OH: Charles E. Merrill.
Peters, R.S. (1965). Ethics and education. London: Oxford University Press.
Peters, R.S. (1973). The philosophy of education. London: Oxford University Press.
Peirce, C.S. (1971). Philosophy and human nature. New York: New York University Press.
Ryle, G. (1949). The concept of mind. New York: Barnes and Noble.
Scheffler, I. (1983). Conditions of knowledge: An introduction to epistemology and education. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Toffler, A. (1974). Learning for tomorrow: The role of the future in education. New York: Vintage Books.
Whitehead, A.N. (1929). The aims of education and other essays. New York: McMillan.
Wittgenstein, L. (1968). Philosophical investigations. New York: McMillan.