Is hypothesized by both René Descartes (1596–1650) and George Berkley (1685–1753). Modern idealists also believed in two worlds: a material world and a world of the mind. Modern idealists questioned existence, God, and perception, most famously in Descartes’ declaration: “I think, therefore I am.” Modern idealist educators consider their students to be rational, thinking beings who are capable of seeking and understanding the truth.
They generally believe in going beyond the mere development of the mind and seek to bring about an overall character development in their students. These idealist educators act as moral and mental role models for their students and encourage them to achieve ideas of the highest quality possible by learning from the wisdom of great thinkers of the past. The approach to teaching is generally governed by the concept of viewing the world as the sum of many parts, with the core skill required being to generate and analyze ideas to gain an understanding of the whole.
Idealist educators highly value self-directed activity, engaging their students in activities and reading materials that encourage reflection on their own nature, as well as promoting a comprehensive understanding of the world at large. Reform schools provide a good example of an idealist education. Reform schools typically seek to train students that need further instruction in character development, creating or strengthening morals and values in each of the students, all while teaching the basic core curriculum that is taught in a typical school.