History of Idealism and Realism
Aristotle and Bacon were two philosophers associated with realism; however, their theories counteracted one another. Bacon thought Aristotle’s philosophy had many errors. Aristotle’s influence recognized the need to study nature systematically, use logical processes in examining the external world, and organize things into hierarchies (Ozman, 2012, 43). Bacon argued that science must be concerned with inquiry not burdened with preconceived notions to develop the inductive method of thinking (Ozman, 2012, 46). Aristotle’s philosophy took a more idealistic approach by emphasizing the spiritual aspect of science and nature. Bacon’s philosophy employed a more realistic approach by demanding inquiry to answer the science investigation questions.
Curriculum and Instruction Basics
Teachers must learn to marry these two approaches by using Bacon’s ideas of inquiry with Aristotle’s logical study. Students learn through play and by doing; therefore, teachers must provide experiences with which they can study and examine each element of the context and concepts while giving them the avenues to explore and investigate through questioning each element.
According to Bacon, students must learn the “inductive method” of thinking (Ozman, 2012, 46). They must use observation in order to implement the inquiry method in their investigative approach. Students may have the freedom to explore classroom learning environments to fulfill the inquiry and investigative need of learning. Aristotle suggested students organize things into hierarchies (Ozman, 2012, 43), therefore, placing higher priorities and importance on processes and truths involved in the studies. Aristotle’s organizational idea of hierarchy represents Maslow’s hierarchy of needs stating that students must meet basic needs before moving on to higher needs (Roberts, 1972). Once those priorities on the lower rungs are met then the higher rungs can be accomplished.
According to Wikipedia, realism is an idea of depicting concepts accurately. As an early childhood educator, the learner constantly works in a mode of realism in an environment of concrete students. The learning material must be presented in concrete, easily understood methods for students to experience through hands-on techniques. Many young students are visual learners and must see activities as well as manipulate through touch and the other senses. Teachers provide learning activities to meet student interests and motivate them to fulfill inquiry needs of investigation and exploration, and therefore, achieve developmental standards.
Ozmon, H. A. (2012). Philosphical foundations of education (9th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.
Roberts, T. B., & Northern Illinois Univ., D. b. (1972). Maslow’s Human Motivation Needs Hierarchy: A Bibliography.
Realism (2013). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realism