Reconstructionism, Marxism, and Education

Reconstructionism philosophy holds that society encounters change continuously. The purpose of education is to ensure that this state is maintained (Ozmon & Craver, 2013, p.1 58). From this philosophical paradigm, people who drive change within a society resort to the deployment of education as the most efficient tool for fostering positive change in society. This implies that the primary goal of an educationist is to prepare students so that they can engage proactively in positive societal transformations. Ozmon and Craver (2013) point out that, even though the current world is dynamic, educational systems treat it as static. This makes the systems depart from being guided by the principles of reconstructionism (Ozmon & Craver, 2013, p.166).

The philosophy of reconstructionism emphasizes that, when social questions are properly addressed, the situation becomes possible for educational systems to produce persons who are better equipped to generate a more democratic society. Hence, as a professional educator, when deploying reconstructionism as the philosophy of education, one has to pay attention to the curriculum, which highlights the purpose and necessity of social reforms that are vital in education (Mosier, 1991). Therefore, a teacher will function to alter systems of education to make it possible to overcome any instances of oppression, hence contributing to overall societal improvement.

Karl Marx believed that people are naturally inefficient in making decisions that are helpful to society in terms of increasing their productivity. Consequently, capitalism was the only way of helping society to increase wealth. Thus, people are not equal. Some of them act as owners of factors of production while others provide labor. Education serves as a way of segregating people into these different classes depending on their capabilities and wealth endowments. According to Ozmon and Craver (2013), Marx “did not look favorably on public education that was provided by the biogeosie capitalistic nation-state primarily because he distrusted that the curriculum would include the way this education would be taught” (p.304).

Although Marx later advocated for compulsory education to make people better workers, it is possible that he would advocate for a curriculum that can segregate people into different classes. This would make it possible for the owners of the factors of production and the possible labor providers to be taught differently so that they can become efficient in their respective areas. However, he opposed a curriculum that was based on the distinction of existing in social classes. He argued, “Only subjects such as physical science and grammar were fit for schools” (Ozmon & Craver, 2013, p.304). Various principles and laws, which did not change as time moved, guided these disciplines. To an educator, using Marx’s philosophy implies that a teacher should not allow students to create changes to the existing situations within society. Such changes are opposed to the existing laws and principles. This will perhaps attract immense criticism from people who are inclined to the reconstructionism philosophy of education.

Reference List

Mosier, R. (1991). The educational philosophy of recontructionism. Journal of educational sociology, 25(2), 86-102.

Ozmon, H., & Craver, S. (2013). Philosophical Foundations of Education. Virginia Commonwealth University: Pearson.