Identifying Your Philosophical Orientation

The multidimensional nature of instruction is good accepted. This is reflected in plants which explore the nature of beliefs in order to better understand how such systems, both on the degree of personal doctrines and civilization, interact to impact the manner persons behave. From an grownup instruction position, much of the focal point has been on the manner these systems potentially impact teacher behavior and accordingly impact the manner searchers of grownup instruction learn. This excessively is reflected in the proliferation of positions about what instruction is or ought to be, what it should take at, how it should continue, etcetera. Zinn ‘s Philosophy of Adult Education Inventory reflects this concern. It has been developed specifically with the purpose of assisting grownup pedagogues better understand their ain philosophical orientations, thereby doing them more philosophically consistent. Harmonizing to Zinn the benefits of this are manifest and she outlines several in her chapter, Identifying Your Philosophic Orientation ( Zinn, 1990, p.44 ) .

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After reading Zinn ‘s article I completed the Inventory. My tonss were as follows:

Broad Adult Education ( L ) 78

Progressive Adult Education ( P ) 73

Humanist Adult Education ( H ) 70

Behaviourist Adult Education ( B ) 68

Extremist Adult Education ( R ) 65

Therefore harmonizing to Zinn ‘s preparation, it appears that my primary philosophical orientation is Broad Adult Education. While these consequences did non ab initio surprise me, farther consideration has exposed a figure of concerns. A figure of Zinn ‘s remarks besides perplexed me. Even so I am rather comfy with my primary appellation ( s ) . If anything, it was the overall deficiency of surprise that was most surprising, and this raised an of import inquiry. If the above consequences merely conveying to the bow my preexistent orientation ( s ) , which is what is to be expected if the Inventory meets its intent, what in footings of existent schoolroom pattern is the advantage of enlightened determination devising over intuitive determination devising? The reply of class depends on whether Zinn and her beginnings are right that people can consistently move inconsistently, by keeping to a working theory-in-use that is different to their espoused theory ( Zinn, 1990, p.43 ) . Though Zinn spends some clip seeking to set up this, I finally find the statement unconvincing. Such a drawn-out incongruousness between behavior and belief would, in my sentiment, require a degree of dissociation that a normal-functioning grownup would be unable to prolong.

As for my perplexity with Zinn ‘s remarks, they chiefly arise out of the undermentioned drumhead observations. 1 ) That “ typical combinations are Broad and Behaviourist or Progressive and Humanistic ” . 2 ) That “ it is extremely improbable that you would hold high tonss in both Liberal and Radical classs ” . 3 ) That if your tonss are equally distributed, “ you may necessitate to work on clear uping your beliefs and looking for contradictions among them ” ( Zinn, 1990, p53 ) . Such remarks seem to propose that Zinn ‘s model is premised on the impression that persons are either philosophically fixed or merely capable of moderate flexibleness. This seems to me both counter intuitive and deterministic. I reject any impression that people can someway be so stiffly slotted into predefined boxes.

In my position there is no issue with Liberal and Progressive doctrines being utilised in complement to each other. They are merely different facets of what I regard as a broader doctrine. In other words, I do non see that there are any built-in struggles between them, as Zinn ‘s article implies, ( and her Inventory as an artifact of her model ) . For illustration, I do non hold, as Zinn ‘s stock list implies, that one manner inherently treats people with more regard and attention for their personhood, that is with more self-respect than another, as her assorted classifications suggest. It is the function of the pedagogue to move respectfully in any given context. Therefore while I recognise that Zinn ‘s purpose is to assist one place his or her ain philosophical orientation, I nonetheless experience that the Inventory, with its inflexible and demarcated attack, is limited in its utility. It may even be unhelpful in the sense that it may help to perpetuate a similar sort of what could be considered restricted thought.

My reluctance to accept such stiff classifications, I suspect, stems from an antipathy I have to anything paternalistic. It likely besides explains why I feel slightly uncomfortable with facets of The Hamburg Declaration on Adult Learning, though I besides agree with much of what it stands for and seeks to accomplish. My concern with this Declaration, which reads like a humanistic missiological statement, is that while it seeks to progress the rights of all grownups with regard to instruction, yet seeks to enforce its ain values on peoples who may non portion them ( UNESCO, 1997 ) .

In add-on, deficient consideration is given to context in both Zinn ‘s Inventory and article. While finishing the Inventory, I often found myself conflicted. I frequently experienced trouble replying inquiries, because I felt that the best response to many of them, finally depended on context. Depending on the context, I may hold answered otherwise. Foley reflects my sentiments when he quotes ( Usher & A ; Bryant, 1989, p.82 ) as stating “ The inquiry for the practician is non ‘whataˆ¦ [ philosophical ] aˆ¦rules should I use ‘ but ‘how ought I to move in this peculiar state of affairs ‘ ” ( Foley, 2004, p.10 ) .

As for my comparatively even distribution of tonss, should they be accepted as a possible indicant of confusion, as Zinn suggests, or might they bespeak something else? It seems that my ain personal doctrine is wide plenty, and flexible plenty, to let me to borrow from a broad scope of attacks, depending on the context. This being the instance, I tend to believe that it is possibly better understood as verification of my eclectic method.

Though limited and largely informal, this eclectic method besides appears to hold been good reflected in my ain instruction experience. For illustration, when working as a squad leader with a big telecommunications corporation, I was frequently required to educate proficient staff in the usage of new engineerings and proving methods. Such a context frequently necessitated what was basically a Behaviourist attack. This was because I had found from experience that behaviour repeat and programmed direction were ideally suited to the development of this sort of proficient cognition. For case, when developing staff in the usage of trial equipment or tracing informations through telephone exchanges, I would foremost show the accomplishments and techniques involved, have scholars rehearse them, and so I would reply any inquiries or supply feedback as required. Even so, progressive elements, such as job resolution exercisings, were frequently included, peculiarly in response to specific scholar petitions.

On the other manus, when learning English to pupils of other linguistic communications ( TESOL ) , who were grownups of Korean beginning, I intuitively recognised that it was non merely appropriate but frequently necessary to utilize elements from a assortment of attacks, even Radical, in the sense of “ acquiring at the footing of something ” ( Zinn, 1990, p.53 ) . For case, while larning frequently occurred through formal teacher led instruction ( L ) , scholars were besides encouraged to make up one’s mind what they wanted to concentrate on and how they wanted the Sessionss to continue ( H ) . Students could, for case, negotiate whether to officially work through exercisings in text books ( B ) , learn and practise through function playing ( P ) , or through cantabile vocals or declaiming Limericks ( H ) . Sometimes the category decided to travel on field trips or take drives on public conveyance in order to rehearse, reinforce and detect new acquisition ( P, H, B, R ) . Again, after treatment with pupils, cultural facets such as etiquette were frequently incorporated into lessons ( H, P ) . Additionally, because some pupils felt the demand to uncover that it was really of import in Korean civilization non to lose face, much attending was besides given to developing category regulations which encouraged pupil engagement in an unfastened and non-judgemental manner, therefore making and guaranting a supportive and fostering larning environment ( P, H ) . This, I believe, approximates what Heron describes with regard to his determination mode-levels. In my sentiment it constitutes an effort, albeit intuitive, to develop a holistic attack to acquisition and instruction ( Heron, n.d, p.4 ) . It would therefore look that in my instance, Zinn ‘s Inventory possibly better reflects the consistence that exists between pattern and doctrine than her model allows.

It is for grounds such as these, that I personally prefer Illeris ‘s Tension Field of Learning Theory. As a theoretical account, it recognises that all acquisition is multidimensional, that “ the cognitive, the emotional and the societal ” all have a function to play. That, “ irreducibly, human larning ever involves all three at the same clip ” ( Sawchuk, 2006, p.4 ) . This is personally much more acceptable because it presents and focuses on the complete multifaceted-individual with his or her attendant demands. And I feel that much more accent by and large needs to be given to the cardinal function of scholars.

Illeris ‘ theoretical account is besides preferred because of the manner theories of grownup acquisition can be mapped within the alleged “ tenseness field, leting us toaˆ¦ [ better ] aˆ¦imagine dealingss between theories which all excessively often neither mention nor even admit one another “ ( Sawchuk, 2006, p.4 ) , vis-a-vis Zinn ‘s attack. In short, it promotes a less stiff and more utile manner to believe about theory.

Another possible concern that Zinn ‘s Inventory highlighted, is the evident easiness with which experiential cognition can be subordinated to, and thought as being lesser than, theoretical cognition. I, on the other manus, agree with Foley that “ a construct of theory and pattern that emphasises their common dependance is more utile than one that sees theory as anterior to pattern ” ( Foley, 2004, p.11 ) . For me, theoretical and experiential cognition are two sides of a individual phenomenon, as are learning and acquisition, and as such are blended in ways that can non be easy separated. Foley seems to reflect this confidant merger when he emphasises the demand to deduce “ theory from both experience and survey ” as a manner of helping “ grownup pedagogues to make their work better ” ( Foley, 2004, P.3 ) . Therefore, in my sentiment, to split them, is to unnaturally split the cognitive from the practical. It introduces what I regard as an unneeded dualism, which in my sentiment harmfully elevates one signifier of cognition over another.

Therefore I conclude that there is some virtue in analyzing one ‘s philosophical orientation, at least as an academic exercising, because now I am more cognizant of the range of the argument, itself an artifact of the viing doctrines. However, despite Zinn ‘s exhortations to clear up one ‘s doctrine, at this point I remain to be convinced of the practical benefits of stiffly alining myself with any one peculiar doctrine. I am besides, more than of all time, committed to the belief that when it comes to instruction, the scholar ( s ) must ever be the primary focal point along with the context in which acquisition occurs. I consider Sawchuk ‘s attack, unlike Zinn ‘s, preferred because it provides a model with greater flexibleness for the pedagogue to work within, and finally react creatively to the pupil within their peculiar context. To me, this is true congruity. Zinn ‘s Inventory on the other manus, does non let for the flexibleness needed in existent life. If taken on board and purely adhered to, in my sentiment, this sort of stiff believing finally leads to losingss of inventiveness, inaugural and creativeness in instruction, and accordingly, larning. As for my ain attack, I feel that it better aligns with what I presently understand of Sawchuk, Foley and Heron, in that they by and large appear to give greater consideration to the demands of scholars within peculiar contexts.


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