Thursday, June 3, 2010

Education and Philosophy By Kiran

Education is an important human activity. It was born with the birth of the human race and shall continue to function as long as the human races live. The importance of education may be summed up as an essential human virtue, a necessity for society, important for integration of separate entities, gives significance to life, educated men are superior, sign of freedom, a controlling grace and the basis of a good life.
Derivative Meaning of education
It is derivative sense the term Education may be understood as Educare and Educere .Educare is a Latin word and it means to nourish to bring up or to raise. This means, educating a child and nourishing or bringing up the child according to certain ends or aims.
Thinker of the past
According to Aristotle , Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body…….It develops a humans’ faculty especially the mind so that it may be able to enjoy the contemplation of supreme truth , goodness and beauty of which prefect happiness essentially consists.
Modern thinkers
According to John Dewey education is a process of development of all those capacities in the individual which enables to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities.
Nature of Education
a) Education is a process
b) Education is an integrating process
c) Helps to discover lasting values
d) Life long process
e) Modification of behavior
f) Education is life
Formal Education:
It is planned with a particular end in view, limited to a specific period, with a well defined and systematic curriculum. It is given by specially qualities teachers and includes activities outside the classroom. It observes strict discipline.
Informal Education
Features: Incident and spontaneous, not preplanned, not imparted by any specialized agency, no prescribed time table or curriculum and may be negative also.
Philosophy is the earliest and the most original discipline. Philosophy is a systematic and thorough attempt to relate the universe and human life to each other in a meaningful way. Derivative meaning of philosophy: the term philosophy has been derived from the two Greek words ‘philos’ which means love of and Sophia which means wisdom.
Aristotle’s view: Aristotle defines philosophy as ‘a science which investigates the nature of being, as it is in itself.
Plato’s view: according to Plato, ‘philosophy aims at knowledge of the eternal nature of things’.
In short philosophy is an attempt to answer all the questions of life. This is so because human mind is moved by ‘intellectual curiosity and by the desire for order’
Relationship between Philosophy and Education.
Philosophy and education are closely inter-related. Education is the application of philosophy or philosophy of education is applied philosophy. It is the application of philosophy to the study of the problems of education that is known as philosophy of education. Further, “a sound philosophy of education is based on an adequate philosophy of life”. Philosophy and education are reconstructive; they give to and take from each other in ebb and flow of thought and action; they are means to one another, and ends; they are process and product.
Great philosophers have also been great educators: According to many, philosophy and education are like the sides of a coin, presenting different views of the same thing, and that the one is implied on the other.
Education is the dynamic side of philosophy. If one is contemplative the other is active side. Philosophy is an attempt to answer the ultimate question of education. Philosophy of education undertakes the systematic discussion of educational problems on a philosophical level.
John Dewey: “Education is a laboratory, in which philosophical distinctions become concrete are tested.”
Philosophy prescribes the goals and essentials of good life and education is the best means to achieve these goals. It is been rightly said that without philosophy, education would be a blind effort and without education, philosophy would be a cripple.

Impact of Philosophy on Education
Since philosophy and education are intimately related, it seems necessary to discuss their relationship in different fields for example
1.) Aims
2.) Curriculum
3.) Teaching techniques
4.) Concept of discipline
5.) Teacher
Philosophy and aims of education: education being a planned and purposeful activity has manifold aims. These aims or objectives are formulated by the philosophy of life.
Aims of education are co-related to the ideals of life
Philosophy is the determining force for laying down the aims of educations. Unless we have some guiding philosophy in the determination of objectives, we get nowhere at all. Different philosophies have prescribed different aims of education.
Philosophy and curriculum: there are two sides of philosophy, one is theory and one is practice. Curriculum being the contents of education may be deemed as the practical side of philosophy. Curriculum is constructed in accordance with the aims of education that are ultimately guided by the objectives of life over which philosophy has great bearing. In the light of different philosophies, different types of curriculum have been described.
Curriculum in the light of various philosophies
Idealists, naturalists and pragmatists differ on the question of the contents of education. Idealists emphasize higher values of life and prescribe the studies of ethics, religion, logic, literature and humanities.
Naturalists prescribe those subjects and experiences which give due consideration to the present experiences, interests and activities of the child. Their main concern is physical sciences and direct experiences. Pragmatists lay more stress on the study of functional subjects such as language, social studies, general science and various subjects. Whatever the case may, philosophy is the back ground of every type of curriculum.
Philosophy and methods of teaching: the next main problem is the impact of philosophy on the science of teaching. The choice of methods of teachings depends on a philosophy of education. Teaching methods and philosophy are closely related. Method is a means by which a contact is developed between the students and the subject- matter. In the absence of an adequate philosophy of life, the method of teaching employed by the teacher may repel the student from the subject. This may lead to even disliking of the teacher by the students. Different educationists and philosophers have prescribed different techniques of teaching according to their scheme of education. The naturalists lay emphasis on motivation, direct experiences on maintaining interest of the child. The idealists believe in lecture method and discussion. Their sole concern is to create suitable environment in order to influence the development of an individual. Pragmatists recommend socialized techniques, projects and problem-solving methods and other activities as the teacher techniques. In the end it may be said that teachers who think that they can do without a philosophy of life render their methods of teaching ineffective.
Philosophy and the Concept of Discipline: The nature of concept of discipline is again governed by the philosophy of life. In other words, discipline reflects the philosophy of life. It reflects the philosophical pre-possessions or particular ideologies. Naturalists believe in the concept of discipline by natural consequences. Idealists favor inner discipline-discipline of mind or intellect. Pragmatists stress free discipline and self-discipline, inner and outer discipline. Militant or self-imposed discipline has been propagated by different schools of thought and political ideologies. Modern concept of discipline gives maximum freedom to child and provides opportunities to have self-control, co-existence and the inner discipline. This is a clear impact of democratic ideology and social philosophy.
Philosophy and the teacher: in the process of education, teacher plays the pivotal role, the heart of the matter. Education takes place through the interaction between the teacher and the thought. The teacher influences the personality of the child and instills in him a thoughtful awakening, a new life and beliefs. To be a successful teacher it is for him to know the philosophy of education and its related ingredients. His philosophy of life finds an experience the philosophy of education. Therefore, some knowledge of philosophy is fundamental not only to an understanding of education as a whole but also to have a clear grasp of the actual techniques of teaching and their effective uses.
Idealism assigns a very important role to the teacher who has to inspire and influence his pupils and mould them into spiritual beings. He is a co-worker with god in perfecting man naturalism regards teacher as the stage manager who has to provide educational environment. According to pragmatism, teacher is a friend, a guide and a philosopher. He encourages self education on the part of his pupils.
Philosophy and the Textbook: A text book is an important means for the realization of educational aims. Philosophical implications are given special attention in the preparation of a text book and in the selection of the content. We have to keep in mind some standard and judgment. These are formulated by philosophy. Text books need special care and attention. These must be written in accordance with the philosophy of time, cultural, social and political background of a society or nation.
Education is the dynamic side of philosophy. If one is contemplative the other is active side. Philosophy is an attempt to answer the ultimate question of education. Philosophy of education undertakes the systematic discussion of educational problems on a philosophical level.


abha marathe said...

very explicitly and systematically explained. very good. thanks

roopasuresh said...

well information thank u

Afrin Sultana said...

A very well explained excerpt. Each and every topic analysed to the point. Very helpful, thanks!