Lessons in Pragmatism

Topics: Education, Scientific method, John Dewey Pages: 3 (1071 words) Published: July 7, 2013
Lessons in Pragmatism
John Benight
EDU360
Prof. John Alexander
July 9, 2012

Lessons in Pragmatism
Having been a Para Educator since 1994, serving both Special Education as well as General education children, I have had countless opportunities to observe incredible teachers in action. In fact, one of my most vital responsibilities is to collect observational data on various special education students and their IEP goals. This allows the teacher to generate reports of student progress and to help in modifying goals and objectives as needed. It is unfortunate that the writing of this paper falls during the summer months making it impossible to conduct a formal observation of a specific lesson plan in real time. Therefore, the focus of this presentation shall be a lesson plan which was located in the database of the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, an organization dedicated to providing enriching, meaningful mathematics curriculum while ensuring availability for all students. This particular lesson plan is a multi-dimensional lesson, or a better an investigation, written by Laurie St. Julien (2008) and printed in the publication Teaching Children Mathematics. It has been generated toward third graders as a means to “pose their own mathematical questions from real data” (St. Julien, 2008, pg. 506)

Before performing any critique of a lesson plan, it is first helpful to identify the basic philosophies that provide its foundation. In a course structured around empowerment through group dynamics conducted by Brunson and Vogt (1996), the results correlated with the theology that “an empowering educational philosophy promotes trust, collaborative learning and tolerance for ambiguity”. (Brunson & Vogt, 1996, pg. 73) Pragmatism is a philosophy that centers not on the simple passing of knowledge from teacher to student, but around the teacher and student acting as co-learners in the educational process. (Stallones, 2011) Pragmatic teachers believe...

References: Brunson, D. A., & Vogt, J. F. (1996). Empowering our students and ourselves: A liberal democratic approach to the communication classroom. Communication Education, 45(1), 73. Retrieved fromhttp://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=9278951&Fmt=7&clientId=74379&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Neubert, S. (2009). Reconstructing deweyan pragmatism: A review essay. Educational Theory, 59(3), 353. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1887484151&Fmt=7&clientId=74379&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Smith, H. A. (1995). Cultural psychology and semiotics: Confronting meaning in educational practice. Canadian Journal of Education, 20(4), 407. Retrieved from http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=419242151&Fmt=7&clientId=74379&RQT=309&VName=PQD
Stallones, J. (2011). Philosophy of education. Bridgepoint Education, Inc., retrieved from http://content.ashford.edu/books/AUEDU360.11.1
St. Julien, L. (2008), Teaching Children Mathematics, 14(9), 500. Retrieved from http://www.nctm.org/publications/article.aspx?id=22194
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