What is the Philosophy of Education? Here’s the Complete Explanation!

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The Philosophy of Education

Important to pedagogy, the philosophy of education is quite relevant when it comes to a tutor teaching students and how they learn. Different teachers have different approaches towards educational philosophy and it keeps on altering as the experience of a teacher grows. Preferably, the educational philosophy of a teacher should align with the school they are teaching at because fundamentally, these beliefs will decide how they will educate the students. 

Must Read: What is Quality Education?

What is the Philosophy of Education?

The branch of philosophy that considers education’s nature and aims from two perspectives, a practical perspective as well as a theory perspective is the Philosophy of Education. It is dedicated to exploring education’s goals, principles, methods, meaning, and forms. It is one of the practical branches of philosophy.

The philosophy of education is a branch of philosophy discipline that studies the nature of education, as well as its goals and difficulties. It covers an analysis of educational ideas, their underlying assumptions, and the arguments for and against them. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws inspiration from both within and outside of philosophy, such as ethics, political philosophy, psychology, and sociology.

Many of its theories are focused on education in schools, but it also includes other types of education. Its theories are frequently classified as descriptive or normative. In contrast to normative theories, which study how education should be practised or what is the best form of education, descriptive theories provide a value-neutral description of what education is and how to understand its essential concepts.

What are the major philosophies of education?

There are many areas within the philosophy of education, but almost all of them will typically fall into one of three philosophical traditions that are mentioned below:-

  1. Student-centred philosophies.
  2. Teacher-centred philosophies.
  3. Society-centred philosophies.

1.) Essentialism

It focuses on what is the belief of its proponents that are essential skills and subjects that should be learn’t by the young children in their formative years.

2.) Perennialism

It promotes the idea that the pupils should develop skills and knowledge that will be relevant forever i.e perennially and are important within the society. It should focus on principles, rather than facts, and on personal development, rather than essential skills.

3.) Existentialism

This promotes learning that is student directed with a focus on the areas of study that best develop the students’ sense of self, their character as well as their beliefs, their purpose and understanding of life.

4.) Positivism

This is one of the teacher-centred philosophy which asserts that absolute truth is knowledge, and hence students can learn this knowledge through appropriated teacher-led instructional methods.

Some other areas of philosophy of education are mentioned belwo:-

  • Constructivism
  • Social reconstructionism
  • Progressivism
  • Behaviourism
  • Conservatism
  • Humanism
  • Pragmatism

Main Topics

Since there are several philosophies about it, therefore many people state that in reality philosophy of education does not exist. Following are some of the main topics that are covered under the Philosophy of Education: 

  • Fundamental concepts of education 
  • Aims of Education 
  • Epistemic 
  • Critical thinking and indoctrination
  • Individual and society
  • Curriculum
  • Power
  • Equality
  • Epistemology 

Also Read: Importance of Education in India 

Philosophy of Education vs Educational Philosophy

Although the Philosophy of Education or Educational Philosophy might appear the same at first glance, they are two different terms with different meanings. To give you a better idea, both of these terms are briefly discussed below: 

Philosophy of Education 

Both educational practice and philosophical perspectives can be used to look at the philosophy of education. In earlier times, philosophers like Aristotle and Socrates came forward with theories that talked about analysing and delivering education. In recent times, it has moved towards the foundations of education which entail psychology, sociology and history. 

When it comes to educational activities and a better structure, discussing the goals and purpose of education is considered quite crucial. The key educational areas like teaching, indoctrination, learning and schooling cover a wide variety of topics. With each topic, there come various arguments for educational philosophy and its application.

Educational Philosophy 

Educational Philosophy entails the educational beliefs and values of an individual and an institution. It lays emphasis on the goals and purpose of educational planning, processes and programmes related to teaching and motivating students to focus on the learning process. 

The educational philosophy of an institution (school or university) holds the power to influence what all subjects are taught and also how they are taught. Also, it can affect the values and beliefs that are imparted to students around the national curriculum. When it comes to the goals of an educational institution, an educational policy can help it to find and define the themes and principles that align with them. A teacher develops an educational philosophy keeping the following things in mind: 

  • Their role as a teacher
  • How students learn
  • The purpose of education 

If the teacher has an educational philosophy which is parallel to the approach of the institution they are working at then this signifies that the teacher has the same ideals related to education and teaching in general.

Examples of Educational Philosophy

Although it is not static meaning this can change as the teacher gains more experience which signifies that the educational philosophy of a teacher is a subjective thing as it contains a dynamic approach towards education and teaching. Mentioned below are some examples that can be included in educational philosophy: 

  • Students need structure and repetition to learn: In accordance with their national curriculum, teachers create a scheme of work that includes assessing how well their pupils have completed their learning objectives. To ensure that all students are able to engage in lessons at levels appropriate to their ability, teachers will differentiate activities.
  • Students need timely feedback – In order to meet each student’s unique learning needs, teachers continuously assess their class and individual students. This frequently occurs during summative and formative evaluations, as well as in the work that students submit in class or at home.
  • Students need information, knowledge and skills – When it comes to children’s education, relevant materials must be easily accessible for the teacher to utilise during classes and for their students to use to learn from. This makes them equally as vital as curriculum content. 

Also Read: Online Learning 

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Q1. Who is the father of philosophy?

Ans. Socrates is regarded as the father of Philosophy as he is the founder of Western philosophy. 

Q2. What are the 4 pillars of education?

Ans. Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live and Learning to be are the four pillars of education that Jacques Delors refers to UNESCO, in the form of a report. 

Q3. What are the 7 philosophies of education?

Ans. Essentialism, Humanism, Progressivism, Social Reconstructionism, Perennialism, Existentialism and Behaviorism. 

We hope you liked this blog, where we covered important information about the philosophy of education. To read more informative blogs like this keep following Leverage Edu!

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