Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Educational Philosophy

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Dr. William Allan Kritsonis, Educational Philosophy

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<ul><li>1.Dr. William Allan Kritsonis Example of PhD Comprehensives in Educational Philosophy Utilizing the Six Realms of Meaning in Improving Campus Standardized Test Scores Through Team Teaching and Strategic Planning Introduction School districts around the nation develop individual Campus Improvement Plans (CIPs) on each campus in the district yearly based on ways they can improve their campus and make it better for the school, the students, teachers, parents and the community. One major component in schools in the state of Texas is the TAKS test or the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. The Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills standardized test is a test that school children take in the state of Texas yearly. Students in Texas take this test in all grades, but have key grades where they must pass the test in order to either move on to the next grade level or graduate from high school. Through strategic planning in team meetings throughout the various departments in a school and faculty meetings, the school can come up with ideas on how to incorporate the realms of meaning in their classrooms to assist each teacher with improving the education of their students, which will ultimately lead to an improvement on standardize test scores. An educational institution or school system claiming to be purposive must make some attempt to classify, codify, and integrate the knowledge base it has selected to become part of its curriculum (Kritsonis, 2007, p. v). The metaphysics of things is that schools can achieve this goal through The Ways of Knowing Through the Realms of Meaning (2007) by Dr. William Allan Kritsonis. Purpose of the Essay The purpose of this essay is to discuss ways school districts can meet one of their goals on their campus improvement plan, increasing their standardized test scores, using the six realms of meaning in the classrooms. This essay will focus on ways teachers can strategically plan in their team meetings and 1 </li></ul><p>2. staff developments and ways to improve the epistemology in the classroom based on the realms of meaning. Utilizing the realms of meaning will help schools; teachers and students reach the goals they have set in their CIP and their Mission Statement. School districts around the country are faced with the ontology of accountability ratings and state mandated assessments, which plays a large role in the funding that schools receive. Schools can reach the goals outlined in their CIP and receive their accountability ratings through constant planning in team meetings and staff/professional developments; coming up with ways to reach out to students to assist them in learning and improving their test scores on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Symbolics The first realm, symbolics, comprises ordinary language, mathematics, and various types of nondiscursive symbolic forms, such as gestures, rituals, rhythmic patterns, and the like (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 11). The realm of symbolics is something that should be discussed and planned out during team meetings and staff development because it encompasses variables that are important to obtain and understand in order for students to be successful on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills. Symbolics is a realm that can be successfully utilized in all subject areas in public schools. PLCs, have been successful in recent years in adding student success. Scholarship on professional learning communities indicates that change is more likely to be effective and enduring when those responsible for its implementation are included in a shared decision-making process (Scribner, Sawyer, Watson, &amp; Myers, 2007, p. 71). Empirics The second realm empirics, includes the science of the physical world, of living things, and of man. These sciences provide factual descriptions, generalizations, and theoretical formulations and explanations that are based upon observation and experimentation in the world of matter, life, mind, and society. They express meanings as probable empirical truths framed in accordance with certain 2 3. rules of evidence and verification and making use of specified systems of analytic abstraction (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). Empirics deal with the sciences in everyday life. This realm focuses on the subject areas of physical science, biology, physics, psychology, and the social sciences. It relies on factual information and educators must deal with and present all of the facts to the students that they teach. Teachers must gather information that is true and accurate in order to reach and teach their students to be successful on TAKS. Esthetics Esthetics contains the various arts, such as music, the visual arts, the arts of movement, and literature. Meanings in this realm are concerned with the contemplative perception of particular significant things as unique objectifications of ideated subjectives (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). Through a schools CIP and Mission Statement, schools can look at innovative and creative ways to motivate and stimulate student success in more creative and artistic ways. Humans teach their children the arts to help them achieve what we consider a well-rounded education, exposing them to new and interesting forms of sensory satisfaction (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 284). Expressiveness lies above and beyond the art, music and physical education classes. Although students are encouraged to express their artistic ways in the arts classes, they are also encouraged to express themselves artistically in other classes. Synnoetics The fourth realm, synnoetics, embraces what Michael Polanyi calls personal knowledge and Martin Buber the I-Thou relation. This personal or relational knowledge is concrete, direct, and existential. It may apply to persons, to oneself, or even to things (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 12). It is important with this realm that educators enforce to their students the importance of being responsible for their own actions and taking some responsibility for the choices they make with their education. Ethics 3 4. The fifth realm, ethics, includes moral meanings that express obligation rather than fact, perceptual form or awareness of relation. In contrast with sciences, which are concerned with abstract cognitive understanding, to the arts, which express idealized esthetic perceptions, and to personal knowledge, which reflects inter-subjective understanding, morality has to do with personal conduct that is based on free, responsible, deliberate decision (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). This realm is another important realm to teach students in relation to their education as well. Teachers must teach students about academic dishonesty and how to be ethically moral in life. There have been numerous cases about students, as well as teachers, who have exhibited immoral ethics when it comes to the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test. Synoptics Synoptics is the sixth realm of meaning. Synoptics refers to meanings that are comprehensively integrative. This realm includes history, religion, and philosophy. These disciplines combine empirical, esthetic, and synnoetic meaning into coherent wholes (Kritsonis, 2007, p. 13). Educators must teach kids about the past, so that they will not repeat past mistakes, but make greater strides in life. Through our staff/professional developments and team meetings, we look at ways that we can improve the school for the betterment of the students success. Focusing on what was successful in the past and moving towards a post modern approach in the way we develop CIP, is what is in the best interest of our students. Times have changed, the students have changed and as educators, we have to embrace change for the success of the students we teach. Concluding Remarks In conclusion, student success on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills test is based largely on the way teacher teams can successfully and logically relay the much needed information to the students. Through getting together as a team, in teaching teams and at staff developments, 4 5. educators can instill in students the axiology needed to make them successful in school and in life by utilizing the six realms of meaning in their instruction. REFERENCES Kritsonis, W. (2007). Ways of knowing through the realms of meaning. Houston, TX: National FORUM Journals. Scribner, J.P., Sawyer, R.K., Watson, S.T., &amp; Myers, V.L. (2007). Teacher teams and distributed leadership: a study of group discourse and collaboration. Educational Administration Quarterly, 43, 67100. 5 6. Where is Ayn Rands John Gault, When America Needs Him Most? Introduction Ayn Rand was an immigrant from Russia who witnessed firsthand the injustice that the government and others can bring upon those that are hard working individuals. Through this personal experience, Ayn Rand moved to the United States, were she remained until her death. Experiencing the ontology of things in Russia helped Rand develop her theory of Objectivism and the idea that one must be selfish to some extent in order to succeed in life. Through her novels, Atlas Shrugged and The Virtues of Selfishness, Rand introduces us to her philosophy and line of thinking. Purpose of the Essay The purpose of this essay is to discuss the issues within society, the government and the economy in Ayn Rands Atlas Shrugged with the issues that the United States government is now facing. The question that was asked throughout Atlas Shrugged and the question that we as a nation should ask ourselves now is not Who is John Gault, but Where is John Gault Now? Where is John Gault now when the United States of America, logically one of the greatest nations in this country, is slowly failing apart, with the Looters of the world playing a key role in its destruction and downfall? Key Players in the United States Government The United States Government is now going through one of the worst economic crisis in American history since the Great Depression. When one looks at the economy, they turn to the key people who are in charge of the running of the welfare of our great nation, the President of the United States and his administration. Over several years, the United States has found itself digging her way further and further in financial despair, relying on the great minds of the government to pull her out. In the last several years, we as a nation have had several key players playing a role with the economy. The Bush Administration experienced three different Treasury Secretaries during his tenure as President of the United States. Another metaphysical question that we should be wondering is why 6 7. did the nation have to endure three different Treasury Secretaries in such a short period? Were they corrupt like the government in Atlas Shrugged, going after their own agenda to better themselves? Even the current president, President Barack Obama, experienced a few pit stops with his choice of Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner. Why is it, that both of these Presidents are experiencing problems with such critical players in their administration? Below is a list of important positions and people in both President George W. Bushs and President Barack Obamas administrations. With the current economic woes, you have to wonder, where did the great minds go that are suppose to get the country out of these troubled times. Did all the great minds join John Gault in the strike and retreat to the valley? With many businesses and corporations such as American International Group (AIG), Sally Mae and Freddie Mac, ENRON, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, CitiGroup, Bank of America, JP. Morgan Chase Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, Morgan Stanley and Robert A. Stafford Financial group failing or asking for bailouts as high as $45 billion to as low as $10 billion (United States Government) of taxpayers hardworking money, America and the media is left with asking the question, Who is John Gault (1957). Are these business and financial groups the Looters that are taking away from the hard working Americans to better themselves? Many of these groups that have asked for bailouts from the United States Government have Chief Executive Operators (CEOs) that are still receiving bonuses and six figure salaries, these CEOs are the Oren Boyless and Looters of modern times, that are taking away from the hard workers and making the lazy rich, richer. It is Ayn Rands belief that in a metaphysical society, everyone has the epistemological ability to decide and determine for himself, what should be done to the betterment of oneself. You must first and foremost take care of yourself in order to be of use to anyone else. This idea is not by any means calling for everyone to be self centered and conceded, but to take care of yourself so that you can help in the betterment of society. This is not in any way calling on everyone to be all about me, but for you to first 7 8. take care of me so that you can help, assist and make life better for you. The strikers in Atlas Shrugged understood this philosophy and were in business for not only bettering themselves, but making and development things that would make society better and life easier for those living in society. Selfishness The strikers in Atlas Shrugged understood that through their selfishness, they would make a difference in society, making it better for all to live in. In order to survive in society you must be selfish, if you dont take care of you, who will? The word selfishness in todays society has a connotation of being unethical and morally wrong. How can one survive in a world without being selfish and concerned with oneself? In order to survive, one must think logically and place their needs above anyone elses in order to be useful to anyone, let alone, himself. Going through life putting others needs before your own, can ultimately cause harm to both parties involved. You must be selfish in this world in order to survive and an attack on selfishness is an attack on mans self-esteem; to surrender one, is to surrender the other (Rand, 1961, p. xi). Once you take care of self you are more apt to take care of those around you and society benefits as a whole. The Looters were selfish, but didnt understand the true axiology of the word according to Rands philosophy and way of living. The Looters were about self and only sought out to improve their way of life and livelihood, not thinking about making things better for others. They were selfish, not because they were concentrating on themselves because they were a commodity to society, but because they were self absorbed. Concluding Remarks In conclusion, both Atlas Shrugged and the United States of America have had to deal with their share of problems and corruption within the Government. The question was asked throughout the novel, Whos John Gault? (Rand 1957) and is now being asked over our national television stations with these trying times in the economy. Have all the great minds in the world gone on strike and...</p>