Learning Theories

Introduction
The nature of reality, which is called metaphysics, literally means “beyond the physical.” It attempts to find unity across the domains of experience and thought. At the metaphysical level, there are four broad philosophical schools of thought that apply to education today: realism, idealism pragmatism (sometimes called experientialism), and existentialism. These four general frameworks provide the root or base from which the various educational philosophies are derived.

Two of these philosophies, idealism and realism, are derived from the ancient Greek philosophers, Plato and Aristotle while pragmatism and existentialism more contemporary. Educators and administrators who share one of these distinct sets of beliefs about the nature of reality apply each of these world philosophies in successful classrooms and higher education learning environments.

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For students new to the discipline of philosophy, or education for that matter, a new vocabulary must be learned in order to further understand philosophers and be able to converse in scholarly conversations in a philosophical fashion. By defining basic terms and reviewing the parameters of cultures, we can develop a foundation of our own belief systems.

Initial Post Instructions
Step 1
For your initial post, you will choose one of the following theories from the list below to describe in further detail for the class. Follow the steps below before making your initial post.

Idealism
Realism
Pragmatism (Experientialism)
Existentialism
Postmodernism
Marxism
Essentialism
Naturalism
Phenomenology
Rationalism
Utilitarianism
Deconstructionism

Step 2
Now address the following:

Review the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy to help select your theory.

Select from the choice menu your topic of interest. If all topics are selected, please email your professor to let them know you will be reviewing a duplicate topic.

Read the additional resources that pertain to your particular topic:
Deconstructionism and Re-Thinking Education
Essentialism in Education
Existentialism and Classroom Practice
Idealism in Education
Implementing Pragmatism
Naturalism in Education
Phenomenology and Technology Education
Postmodernism and Higher Education
Marxism & Education
Realism vs. Idealism
Utilitarianism vs. Pragmatism Making Sense of Higher Ed

Critique and describe whether your selected theory is relevant to 21st Century global education.
Justify your response as to why it does or does not have relevance.

Describe how you might combine these principles to meet the needs of adult learners as a future administrator, instructor, or facilitator and how these principles relate to your own educational philosophy of teaching and learning.

Writing Requirements
Initial Post Length: minimum of 350 words
Minimum of 2 outside resources (library resources, peer-reviewed, or web-based sources)
Use APA format

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