Chapter 9 Test Items

Philosophy of Education



Match the description in column B with the term in column A.



Column A

Column B


1.   progressivism

a.   key element of the “back to basics” approach; emphasizes traditional disciplines


2.   epistemology

b.   study of right and wrong


3.   core curriculum

c.   integrates academics with efforts to improve society


4.   social reconstructionism

d.   claims sensory experience is the basis of all knowledge


5.   Cartesian dualism

e.   viewing one’s own culture as superior


6.   ethics

f.   study of how knowledge is gained


7.   Great Books

g.   belief in materialism and idealism as foundation of reality


8.   existentialism

h.   combination of inductive and deductive reasoning


9.   ethnocentrism

i.    emphasizes democracy, experience, and relevance


10.   empiricism

j.    belief that change is illusory



k.   curriculum at perennialist schools such as St. John’s College



l.    stresses free individual development




Match the description in column B with the educator in column A.




Column A

Column B


11.   Plato

a.   leading advocate of behaviorism


12.   Paulo Freire

b.   popularized term “essentialism” in 1930s


13.   Robert Hutchins

c.   advocate of “praxis;” exiled for his work turning schooling into a liberating force


14.   B.F. Skinner

d.   believed virtue comes from holding to the middle ground between two extremes (Golden Mean)


15.   Aristotle

e.   author of Cultural Literacy


16.   E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

f.   head of the Coalition of Essential Schools


17.   Mortimer Adler

g.   Paideia Proposal author, advocate of perennialism


18.   A.S. Neill

h.   disciple of Socrates; founded the Academy


19.   William Bagley

i.     advocate of “engaged pedagogy”


20.   bell hooks

j.    challenged students primarily through questions



k.   champion of perennialism who instituted Great Books curriculum at the University of Chicago



l.    founder of Summerhill, the famous existentialist school



*denotes more challenging question

(Higher Order Question) - denotes a question at the application or higher level of Bloom’s taxonomy

21.       Which ONE of the following is a teacher-centered philosophy of education?

a.     progressivism

b.     existentialism

c.     social reconstructionism

d.     perennialism

22.       (Higher Order Question) Essentialists would be likely to place the most emphasis on

a.     math and natural sciences

b.     music and art

c.     physical education and geography

d.     math and philosophy

23.       The idea that classic ideas are not only relevant but should be the focus of contemporary education reflects

a.     essentialism

b.     progressivism

c.     existentialism

d.     perennialism

24.       Progressivism’s foremost educational advocate was

a.     Jean-Paul Sartre

b.     Jane Roland Martin

c.     John Dewey

d.     B.F. Skinner

25.       Many progressivists believe that

a.     people learn better by experiencing and doing things than through book learning

b.     people are responsible for determining for themselves what is “right” or “wrong,” “true” or “false”

c.     people are complex combinations of matter who act only in response to internally or externally generated physical stimuli

d.     none of the above

26.       John Dewey founded a famous experimental school to test his ideas.  That school was

a.     The Amidon School

b.     The Laboratory School

c.     Summerhill

d.     St. John’s College


*27.     (Higher Order Question) Which of the following is a model of social reconstructionism?

a.     A. S. Neill’s Summerhill

b.     Robert Hutchin’s Great Books program at the University of Chicago

c.     Jane Roland Martin’s “schoolhome” with its curriculum of caring, concern, and connection

d.     Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know, by E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

28.       One who believes in the existentialist philosophy of education believes schooling should

a.     ground our students in a core curriculum; not be watered down with electives

b.     help students accept themselves as unique, responsible individuals

c.     follow students’ interests and offer hands-on activities and group projects

d.     help students appreciate learning for its own sake

*29.     (Higher Order Question) Before beginning a new unit on the water cycle, a teacher asks her students what experiences they’ve had with water in nature (rain, rivers, the ocean, and the like). The teacher is MOST LIKELY using

a.     informal education

b.     behavioral modification

c.     scaffolding

d.     the Socratic method

30.       The use of a system of positive reinforcement to encourage desired behavior is based on

a.     essentialism

b.     behaviorism

c.     existentialism

d.     progressivism

31.       Unlike existentialists, __________ believe that free will is an illusion and that human nature is shaped by the environment.

a.     essentialists

b.     progressivists

c.     perennialists

d.     behaviorists

32.       (Higher Order Question) Today’s focus on stronger standards and more testing of both students and teachers best fits which philosophy of education?

a.     essentialism

b.     perennialism

c.     progressivism

d.     social reconstructionism


33.       Which of the following best describes informal education?

a.     Students learn by combining academic study with attempts to improve society.

b.     Children learn from adults and older children through observing, helping, and imitating.

c.     Teachers guide student behavior using positive reinforcement.

d.     Children define their own meaning and choose what and how to learn.

34.       The Socratic method involves

a.     repetitive or rote teaching

b.     study from Great Books

c.     learning from actual experience

d.     questioning the student to draw out answers

35.       The founder of the Academy in Athens was

a.     Socrates

b.     Plato

c.     Aristotle

d.     Herodotus

36.       The idea of eternal “forms” underlying all existence comes from

a.     Socrates

b.     Plato

c.     Aristotle

d.     Herodotus

37.       (Higher Order Question) Which of these statements would an advocate of a teacher-centered educational philosophy be most likely to make?

a.     “Education should transmit the values and knowledge that have survived through time.”

b.     “Teachers should help students realize their individuality.”

c.     “Schools should prepare students for a changing future.”

d.     “Teachers should design learning activities that both instruct students and improve society.”

*38.     (Higher Order Question) A look at today’s science curriculum in most U.S. schools shows an emphasis on

a.     aesthetics

b.     idealism

c.     materialism

d.     Cartesian dualism


*39.     (Higher Order Question) A teacher at your school believes children should be made to reason deductively; another teacher favors lots of hands-on learning activities. These teachers appear to hold different views of 

a.     political philosophy

b.     aesthetics

c.     epistemology

d.     ethics

40.       The branch of philosophy most concerned with what schools might cover in a course on values is

a.     metaphysics

b.     aesthetics

c.     epistemology

d.     ethics




41.       Supply a brief definition of each educational term.


a.     metaphysics

b.     Socratic method

c.     informal education

d.     Great Books

e.     Paideia Proposal

f.      E.D. Hirsch, Jr.

g.     Jane Roland Martin

h.     Paulo Freire

i.      inductive reasoning

j.      behavior modification



42.    For each of the following philosophies of education, provide a brief description, including names of educators and schools associated with that philosophy.

a.   social reconstructionism

b.   essentialism

c.   existentialism

d.   perennialism

e.   progressivism

43.    Which of the following are teacher-centered philosophies of education? Which are student-centered? What are the key differences between teacher-centered and student-centered philosophies?

essentialism, existentialism, perennialism, progressivism, social reconstructionism

44.    Describe John Dewey’s Laboratory School. What philosophy of education was put into practice? What epistemological beliefs were reflected?