Goodly Reconstructionism and Education
1. Brief general description of beliefs – Plato being the first philosopher that we
studied and his Idealist Philosophy was a reconstructionist. Any philosopher who
looks at changing the world, developing humanity, and the human soul through
socialism is a reconstructionist.
2. Belief about the nature of knowledge – I feel that those who saw a need in society,
and were concerned about others, became reconstructionist. I think that when we
all feel as though something drastic is needed to help our fellow man, we take on
the reconstructionism philosophy.
3. Educational aims – The educational aims of reconstructionism is that people act
as change agents. They do not think that schools should be separate from society,
and educators should be more involved in the social cause. Three ideas
reconstructionist believe are world community, brotherhood, and democracy
should be implemented in school and society.
4. Educational methods – reconstructionist believe that students are shaped to fit the
preexisting models of living. Reconstructionist want to see people actively
participating in the educational methods than being passive. Students should
participate in service learning to gain first hand knowledge and experience
5. Curriculum – The curriculum should encourage students to use and apply what
they learn. Half of the students time is in the classroom and the other half is spent
learning outside the school structure. The prefer the wheel curriculum where the
core (central theme of the school) of the curriculum is at the hub of the wheel and
the spokes represents the related studies, such as: discussion groups, field
experiences and content. Reconstructionist want teachers to be internationally
oriented and humanitarian in their outlook.
6. Role of the Teacher – Reconstructionist want teachers to be social activist. They
believe the improvement in society results from continuous thoughtful change and
When I was growing up I can recall two trade schools a few miles from my home, one which taught mechanics and the other was a nursing school. For a few months following Hurricane Katrina I taught at a high school, in Fairfax County, Va. This school contains trade and service learning curriculum within it. They have occupational studies such as: cosmetology, culinary arts, information technology, nursing, automotive, mechanical engineering, ROTC, and more. In the main building there are smart boards in every classroom. And all of the students, from home have access to the blackboard website. Using Blackboard, the information that was taught in the classroom, on that day, can be posted for at home review, for the student. The building is fully networked and the latest technology practices, at Edison Sr., are used for teaching and learning. I remember a mayoral candidate say during his political campaign that in order to reduce the crime in the city he was going to focus on education. To me, he was following the reconstructionism philosophy. It was good for him to say that; but in a low income city, such as his, in order to get education into the homes where the extension of the school is the home, than you have to supply the people the resources. Students and teachers in low income areas don’t have access to many educational supplies such as: notebooks, pencils,
paper, textbooks, calculators, smart boards, wired classrooms, networked buildings ( even when the e-rate money was to be applied to wiring all classrooms), in focus machines, PDA’s, etc.
Today with such things as distance learning, students with disabilities which require them to learn from home can. Handheld technology is becoming such a hot commodity that almost everyone has some form of it. Teenagers, even some elementary students, have cell phones. Today with media being transposed the way it can relay information to even the smallest devices.
NCLB has programs, such as SES funds, approximately $1500, which can be distributed to those who fall within a certain acceptance criteria. But not just that, $18 billion goes unspent in educational grants every year. I feel that a percentage of money that is unspent should be exhausted the following year towards something educational.
If person today wants to be a true reconstructionist they must think using a process to bring all persons up to speed in the learning process, that means into the home. Those who live in low income areas, unspent educational grant money should be distributed to them. The educational institutions, the churches, judicial system, community organizations, etc., should receive grant monies and apply it to something educational.