ECLECTICISM AND FREIRERatheesh Kaliyadan
A group of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers practiced Eclecticism. They attached themselves to no real system. They selected doctrines that seemed most reasonable to them from existing philosophical beliefs. Out of this collected material they constructed their new system of philosophy.The term eclecticism comes from the Greek term eklektikos, literally "choosing the best" and that from eklektos, "picked out, select".
Eclectic philosophers borrow ideas from others. In a pedagogical scenario it will be a combination of more than one approach in a situation. This approach will helpful in a context where any other single approach is not possible. Considering this feature of this approach, critics of Freire argue that critical pedagogy is an eclectic philosophy. Freire's thinking is 'eclectic', is 'to underestimate the degree to which he borrowed directly from other sources' (Taylor 1993: 34). The criticism is a superfluous one. Freire utilized various philosophical and experiential out puts to formulate his theory. But never borrowed or followed blindly. His basic philosophy itself is to be critical to every ideas. Friere put forwarded an innovative concept of learning. Initially the critical Pedagogy approach practiced among illiterates in Latin American situations widely. He proved education could be transformational through his own pedagogical implications.The pedagogical innovation which practiced in non formal education scene is accepted by formal educators also. Though Freire was critical on curriculum, his followers proved the assets of the approach is applicable in curriculum also.
At the outer set of the classroom practices, critical pedagogues utilize the assets of social constructivism. Activity based method is the cornerstone peculiarities of such classrooms. Critical thinking generation is the development or extension of constructivist methods. For example, imagine you are a media educator. suppose you are dealing how to report. To internalise the theoretical aspects and the practical components you can lead your learners through various activities including group discussion, brainstorming, debate, interview etc. After internalizing the theory, they are assigned to report. Now your learners formulated varieties of views on reporting. They can utilize media, the powerful weapon to illuminate certain social issues. The projection will help the society to find certain solutions. At this level, the learning process and the activities be part of critical pedagogy. Here the teacher used various activities and assets of constructivism to develop critical thinking or to practice critical pedagogy. It is not a mere combination of various concepts or activities. Instead it is a progress or development of one method. So we can’t say the teacher is using an eclectic style because she is not selecting a particular one from others.
Genuine thinkers never support eclectic approach. Because the fundamentals of eclecticism itself is based upon using others thoughts.Eclecticism is a philosophical perspective. We have few examples for its practicality. Research oriented practices are not sited. At practical grounds, single approach is supported. To make combine more than two approaches, it should assure similar values and assets.