Philosophy of Education (Essay Sample)

Philosophy of Education

The subject of education is a subject that takes a vast place in the society. Primarily, the issue is of importance and is related to a massive number of social aspects. Education is seen as an unending process that individual keep engaging in. It is divided into formal and informal, with both having their importance. Philosophy, on the other hand, is a subject that is tied to almost all aspects of human existence. While it can be described as a discipline that is learned in the process of acquiring education, it also can be defined as a thought. Accordingly, the paper seeks to understand the relationship of philosophy and education by extensively explaining the philosophy of education, illustrating the ideas that ancient scholars had regarding it, and finally outlining some of the leading normative philosophies of education.

The term philosophy of education is a broad one that can be illustrated in two ways. It can be used to mean the application of the discipline of philosophy to the problem of education. In this aspect, it will entail examining, defining, elaborating goals and chains of meanings used in the course of education by instructors, Administrators, and those tasked with the responsibility of policymaking and formulation. Philosophy of education can also be applied to mean the examination of particular visions or approaches to an issue by policymakers in education. In this sense, it is inclined to the address of contemporary debates and assumptions regarding innovation and practices in teaching in the process of teaching and learning. This is typically done through the consideration either a more substantial philosophical or sociocultural contexts. In the academic context, the study of the philosophy of education is centered on the study of the factor of education. Education is regarded as the subject issue. Methods that are then employed in the study of education as the subject matter, are philosophical methods. Essentially, the philosophy of education, in simple terms, can be viewed as either philosophy of the process of education, or as the philosophy, that deals with the subject of education. If it is viewed as the philosophy of the process of education, the major concerns would be concerned with factors such as the aims, reforms, methods or results of the process of education. If it is viewed as dealing with the subject of education, it would be handling the subjects of concepts, and methods that are used in education.

Despite the fact that philosophy of education is concerned with philosophy, it is not taught in the philosophical department, rather, it is based in the departments of education, or taught in colleges that offer courses based on the discipline of education. The diversity of the philosophy of education arises from the fact that there are diverse ways of conveying education. Additionally, there is also a vast number of ways of defining and representing the subject of philosophy. Philosophy of education can also be viewed as a normative theory in education. With this respect, it unifies pedagogy, curriculum, the learning theories and the purpose of education. Essentially, it gains its roots in specific metaphysical, epistemological and axiological assumptions. These theories are also referred to as educational philosophies.

Schools Of Thought in Philosophy of Education

There are several schools of thoughts from ancient scholars that also form the philosophies of education. These schools of thoughts include idealism, realism, scholasticism, pragmatism, the critical theory and existentialist theory. The idealism theory was primarily propagated by Plato. The theory was based on the idea of an ideal republic. According to the thought expressed in the theory, the individual was best served by being exposed to just society. According to Plato, elementary education was essential until the age of eighteen years. There was then supposed to be a compulsory two-year period of military training before those who qualified for higher education were given a chance to pursue it. The realism educational philosophy, on the other hand, was propagated by Aristotle. According to him, there was the need of balancing the theoretical and practical aspects of what the students learn.

Education was essential for instilling values in learners. The main thinker behind scholasticism philosophy of education was Thomas Aquinas. According to Aquinas, the main objective of education was meant to lead people to God. This thought was mainly influenced by the fact that medieval education was based on religion. The progressive philosophy of education, mainly propagated by John Dewey and William Heard Kilpatrick, was a progressive educational philosophy. The idea behind this theory of education was that education was supposed to be measured by the experience that the learners gained from it, and not through the knowledge that is passed to them. Essentially, this philosophy strongly advocated for the issue of education reforms. The existentialists, on the other hand, were opposed to the idea of students as objects subjected to a grading tracking or standardization. This school of thought was for the ideas that what was important in education was the ability to apply authentic thinking as it boosted genuine learning. The critical theory of philosophy of education was mainly represented by the French Paulo Freire. The thinker was for the idea that education was supposed to be used for the intention of participatory development. Additionally, he saw education as a way of liberating the poor from oppression by the rich and those in influential positions.

Normative Educational Philosophies

These theories are essential as they are used for offering views regarding what education should be, the dispositions it should influence, the reasons why it is important to cultivate these dispositions, in addition to pointing out the persons to whom it should do so. The theories are also essential in outlining the forms that educational philosophies should adopt. The normative educational philosophies assume different dimensions, including the basic normative premise, which is mainly concerned with outlining what is good and bad. There is also the basic factual premise which is mainly concerned with issues regarding the humanity of the world, the conclusions grounded on these two types of thoughts, regarding the results that education should cultivate, the factual premises on subjects including psychology of learning and methods of teaching, and the extensive conclusion on issues such as the modes that education should adopt. Perennialism advocates that an instructor is supposed to teach only the issues that they believe that will be of extensive advantage to the learners. Their idea is illustrated that an instructor should be concerned with offering reasoning and wisdom, and not facts. Classical educational philosophy, on the other hand, is interested in the form of education that is rooted in the traditions of the western culture. The education should also be boosted by aspects of education tied to the middle age. The education system, in this case, is extensive, and divide the learners into three categories, including rhetoric, persuasion, and grammar. The educational philosophy of essentialism is a learning system in which the learners are taught systematically from less complex issues and slowly advance to complex ones. Democratic education theory is a system of learning that promotes free and equal participation of both learner and instructors on matters that relate to education. The theory of unschooling, on the other hand, is concerned with giving children the opportunity to learn in their local surrounding, using tools and experiences that are familiar to them.

The issue of the school of philosophy of education is an extensive subject that is defined in different ways. The subject can be understood in two main dimensions, regarding the angle from which it is viewed. Despite being a philosophical subject, the philosophy of education is not taught in philosophical schools; rather, it is addressed in education colleges. The subject of philosophy of education is not a new subject. Essentially, ancient scholars, including thinkers such as Plato. Aristotle and Emanuel Kant addressed the issue. In the contemporary society, the subject of philosophy of education is still dominant, and it is aligned to a vast number of normative theories.

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