Analysis Assignment Instructions
The purpose of the
Philosopher Analysis Assignment is
to evaluate beliefs and actions that have influenced educational developments
throughout history. From historical examples presented in the current course, candidates
will propose one of them as a model of educational philosophy and practice. The
selected model will be compared to opposing views and analyzed through a
personal philosophy of education. The analysis will address issues of
metaphysics, epistemology, and practical implementation and will offer a
critique from a Biblical worldview perspective. As candidates research and
conduct the analysis, they demonstrate knowledge of educational ideas of the
past, consider the relevance of the philosopher, analyze the philosopher in
light of their own educational beliefs, and critically analyze the
philosopher’s beliefs and actions.
Write an analysis of
the beliefs of the educational philosopher you chose in your Topic Proposal Assignment. You will
present the cultural context of the individual, analyze the various aspects of
the philosopher’s beliefs and actions, present critiques in opposition to the
individual, persuasively convey why this individual’s ideas and actions are
relevant, and relate implications that may be applicable to today’s field of
Though your personal
beliefs serve as a lens for your analysis, this assignment is not per se your
personal philosophy of education and should rarely use first-person pronouns,
if at all. Without plagiarizing, you may draw ideas from the Annotated Bibliography Assignment,
textbook readings, videos, and discussions. However, this is a new and
different assignment. You may not submit a previously written assignment that
has been submitted for another course. Doing so would be self-plagiarism. Your
analysis should be based primarily on readings and studies you have recently
conducted in this current course.
As a philosophical
analysis, the assignment should present ideas in a persuasive manner. Avoid
first-person pronouns (e.g., I, me, we, us) and second-person pronouns (i.e.,
you) because they tend to soften and weaken the declarative strength of your
writing. Rely more on third-person
plural (e.g., people, educators, students, they, them) and think in terms
of strong, declarative statements of “ought” and “should.” Avoid beginning
sentences with “I think that” and “I believe that.” Also avoid “for me” and “to
You will discuss
what the individual believed to be the purpose and outcome of education. What
long-range impact did the individual hope to make on individuals and on
society? Though your primary focus will be on beliefs, you may briefly discuss
the practices and methods the philosopher implemented.
Length: This paper is to be at least 1,300 words in length from the
introductory paragraph to the conclusion. This does not count the title page,
abstract, or reference pages.
Citations and References: Cite at least five
sources throughout the paper and list them on the reference page. One of your
sources is required to be the course textbook. Other sources may be course
videos, academic journal articles, books, and textbooks from other courses. You
may incorporate articles from your Annotated
Bibliography Assignment and other course assignments as appropriate. After
ensuring that current course materials are cited, you are encouraged to cite
sources from other courses, such as textbooks or articles.
Structure: To ensure the manuscript meets the
requirements of the Philosopher Analysis
Grading Rubric, you are to include the elements listed below. Note the
required headings are to be placed in the same order in your paper as they
appear in the outline below.
Pagination: In APA, all
pages are numbered. The title page should be page 1.
Title: The title
should not be the name of the assignment (i.e., Philosopher Analysis). It
should be a phrase drawn from the thesis statement in the introductory
paragraph. It should provide the reader a hint of the topic and the main
idea supported throughout the paper and may be phrased in a clever, unique
fashion. The first letter of all words should be capitalized except for
articles (e.g. a, an, the), conjunctions (e.g., and,
but), and short prepositions
(e.g., of, about), unless they appear as the first word, which is always
capitalized. Center and bold your title and position it near the middle of
the page or slightly above the middle.
Other Information on Title Page: All other
information on the title page should comply with current APA requirements.
heading of the abstract should be centered and in bold font.
Place the abstract
after the title page and before the introduction.
Do not indent the
The abstract is a
brief, comprehensive summary of the contents of the paper. It should present
the main idea, main supporting ideas, and the main conclusion/implication.
not use the word “Introduction” as a
heading for this section. Per APA, it is optional to insert the title again as
the heading for the introduction. If you choose to do so, it should be in bold,
centered font and should be capitalized the same way as on the title page.
The purpose of the
introductory paragraph is different from the abstract. Do not simply copy the
In this section,
introduce your thesis statement that will be developed throughout the paper. It
is the main idea you are presenting. All other ideas will serve to support the
It is best to place
the thesis statement at the end of the introduction. It is typically one or two
sentences that serve as a transition into the rest of the paper.
Below are some tips
to help avoid common errors in writing a strong introductory paragraph:
Focus on a simple introduction of the
Ensure that sentences flow in a logical
progression from one to the other.
Keep it simple with only the necessary
concept(s) to introduce the thesis statement.
Avoid including so many distracting facts
that the reader is unclear what the thesis statement is. Save most
supporting facts for the body of the manuscript.
Avoid fragmented, disjointed sentences
that read like bulleted lists.
and Cultural Context: Centered in bold with all major words
capitalized, enter the first Level 1 heading of your paper. (Level 2 headings
are unnecessary for this short of a paper.) Use the words “Background and
section situates the individual you have chosen so the reader understands
the setting in which the ideas developed. This is not an extensive biography
but is a succinct presentation of events or circumstances that may have
influenced the development of the individual’s thoughts and/or actions.
transitions that build a logical progression from the thesis statement in
the introductory paragraph into the background and cultural context.
The length of
this section should be no more than 10% to 20% of the total manuscript. Anything
longer distorts the main intent of the paper.
of Education: The heading for this section is also a Level 1 heading, which means
that—just like the previous heading—it should be centered and in bold with all
major words capitalized. This is not your own personal philosophy of education.
It is a presentation of the ideas of the philosopher you have selected.
this section flows smoothly and logically from the previous one.
This is the
core part of the paper where you expound more specifically on the thesis
Consider what this
educational thinker perceived as the main purpose or outcome of education. Focus
on the individual’s “why” of education—the long-range impact he or she believed
schools and learning should make on individuals and on society.
Depending on the
beliefs of your selected individual, you may address various aspects of
philosophy. The questions below are suggestions for you to consider:
o How did he or she view the needs of individuals and of society?
o What was his or her view of the nature of the learner and how did
that play into other beliefs?
o Was the individual motivated by concerns that were metaphysical,
supernatural, pragmatic, political, etc.?
o What knowledge, skills, or dispositions were of most value to be
included in the curriculum?
individual’s actions, practices, and process (i.e., the “how”) of education for
the next section. In this current section, state what the person believed.
If a philosophical
label clearly applies to this individual, address it and describe it (e.g.,
idealism, realism, scholasticism, perennialism, essentialism, pragmatism,
progressivism, existentialism, postmodernism, critical pedagogy, socialism,
Marxism, etc. See the course textbook Appendix for more information on this.). If
not, you may attempt to situate the individual’s ideas among similar
philosophies; be careful, however, not to speculate if you are unsure. Some philosophers
are difficult to label.
to Practice: This Level 1 heading should be centered and in bold. Use the words
“Theory to Practice.”
This section should
flow smoothly from the previous one.
thinkers were such philosophers that it is difficult to describe what actions
they took other than to write or to philosophize. If this is the case, address
the actions others took as they were influenced by the educational thinker. For
instance, Rousseau’s ideas influenced the actions of Pestalozzi, Froebel,
Piaget, and others.
The questions below
are suggestions for you to consider:
o How did the individual believe learners come to know truth? What
causes learning to occur? What were the thinker’s epistemological beliefs?
o What movements, organizations, or schools did the individual
o What pedagogical practices did the individual implement or
encourage others to use?
o What did he or she hope to accomplish by using these strategies?
on Diversity: This Level 1 heading should be centered in bold. Use the words
“Perspectives on Diversity.” This section should reflect the most significant
aspect of the philosopher’s thoughts and approaches to diversity in society
and/or individuals. If the philosopher’s ideas do not address diversity,
discuss that in this section.
Analysis: This Level 1 heading should be formatted the same as the previous
ones. Use the words “Critical Analysis.” This section should reflect the most
significant criticisms about the person’s work. Indicate who the thinker’s
opponents and supporters were and distinguish elements of opposing ideas and/or
actions. Another aspect of this section is for you to analyze the educational
thinker’s ideas and actions through a biblical worldview lens.
Focus on situating
the individual’s ideas and actions among those of others. These “others” may be
contemporaries who lived during or near the time of your philosopher. They may
also be historians, philosophers, or cultural analysts who came after him or
Part of the critical
analysis may address the thinker’s views (or the lack thereof) on societal and
individual diversity as discussed in the previous section.
To critique means to
convey both opposition and support with rationale for both. Therefore, your
analysis should include those who opposed and also those who supported this
individual and should provide an explanation of why they did so.
and Conclusions: Use the same Level 1 formatting as you have
done with your other headings above and simply enter the words “Implications
and Conclusions” is centered, bolded
font. Although your conclusion should include concepts from the thesis
statement in the introduction and should have some alignment with the title of
the paper, you should not simply restate the thesis. Wrap up the paper by
emphasizing your main idea and draw a clear conclusion. Because you will be
addressing both implications and conclusions in this section, it may be a bit
longer than a typical conclusion section. You may extend the conclusion to
three paragraphs or longer as appropriate. The questions below are suggestions
for you to consider:
What might current
educators, policymakers, or other stakeholders glean from this person?
What do you observe
in the field of education based on your analysis of this philosopher?
What aspect of this
individual’s thoughts and actions resonate with you most and why? Remember, you
can do this persuasively without using first-person pronouns (e.g., “Perhaps
the most relevant idea of Comenius was . . .”; “Most significantly, today’s
educational system would benefit from Booker T. Washington’s notion that . .
.”; “If applied by today’s classroom teachers, Calvin’s idea that . . .”
At what point do you
disagree or conflict with the educational thinker? Consider how you can
confidently convey this by avoiding first-person pronouns (e.g., “Dewey was
perhaps misguided in his approach to . . .”; “An inconsistency in Freire’s
theory is that . . .”; “Du Bois’ may have been incorrect in that . . .”
According to the APA manual, first-person
pronouns are permitted, but they should be used only when the writer must
describe a personal action taken or an event the writer experienced. Beliefs
and opinions are best conveyed in strong, declarative statements. Therefore,
avoid statements such as “I think that,” “I believe,” “for me,” “to me,” etc.
Direct Quotes: No more than 10% of your paper should be
made up of direct quotes. Therefore, do more summarizing and paraphrasing than
quoting. Short quotes should be in quotation marks and longer quotes of 40
words or more should be indented (see APA). If you do not set off direct quotes
in this manner and/or do not cite them, it is plagiarism. Also, page or
paragraph numbers are required in citations for all direct quotes.
Ideas and Facts: If the idea or fact
is not your own, cite its source. When not directly quoting, summarize, or
analyze the idea in your own words.
Mechanics: Below are common errors in graduate-level
writing. If you are unsure how to avoid these errors, do an internet search of
the topic or contact Liberty
University’s Writing Center.
/ Misplaced Modifiers: If you use a phrase or word as an adjective,
the noun closest to it (usually immediately following it) should be the noun
being modified; otherwise, the modifier is “dangling” or misplaced.
o Incorrect: “Being an influential person in his time, his book sold
many copies.” (“His book” was not an influential person.)
o Incorrect: “Being an influential person in his time, many people
bought copies of his book.” (“Many people” was not an influential person.)
o Correct: “Being an influential person in his time, Freire sold many
copies of his book.” (Freire was an influential person.)
Usage: Familiarize yourself with comma rules. Know how they are used after
introductory phrases and subordinate clauses, series of items, and before a
conjunction in a compound sentence. They may not be used to separate
independent clauses; doing so creates a run-on, also known as a comma splice.
Note: Your assignment
will be checked for originality via an online plagiarism tool.