Philosophy Of Education
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Over the summer, teachers reflect on the year and often redesign and perfect their teaching strategies and plans. In essence, they get back to the basics of what they believe is the best way to inspire learning in their students -- in other words, they revisit and refine their philosophy of education.
A school district might ask a teacher or principal applying for a job about her or his philosophy of education. In this post, I've decide to share mine, and I am curious to see if any of my beliefs resonate with you. So here they are:
Having access to knowledge resources is as important to a child's education as the actual curriculum content. Relevant and current information must be at the teachers' and students' fingertips to provide answers when the questions are still fresh. Information \"on demand\" is more valuable than information \"just in case.\"
The philosophy of education is the branch of applied philosophy that investigates the nature of education as well as its aims and problems. It includes the examination of educational theories, the presuppositions present in them, and the arguments for and against them. It is an interdisciplinary field that draws inspiration from various disciplines both within and outside philosophy, like ethics, political philosophy, psychology, and sociology. These connections are also reflected in the significant and wide-ranging influence the philosophy of education has had on other disciplines. Many of its theories focus specifically on education in schools but it also encompasses other forms of education. Its theories are often divided into descriptive and normative theories. Descriptive theories provide a value-neutral account of what education is and how to understand its fundamental concepts, in contrast to normative theories, which investigate how education should be practiced or what is the right form of education.
One of the difficulties in giving a more precise definition is the great variety of topics that are being discussed in the philosophy of education. Some studies focus on its fundamental concepts, like the concepts of education, teaching, learning, and student. Such studies often take the form of conceptual analysis, which aims to clarify concepts by discovering their fundamental constituents. Many discussions center around the aims of education, i.e. issues like why individuals should be educated and what purposes should be pursued in the process. There is wide agreement that these aims include passing on knowledge as well as the development of the abilities of good reasoning, judging, and acting. But theories describing more specific goals and their relative importance are usually controversial. Prominent suggestions include curiosity, creativity, rationality, morality, freedom, autonomy, and open-mindedness. An important discussion concerning the epistemic aims of education is whether education should focus mainly on the transmission of true beliefs or rather on the ability to reason and arrive at new knowledge on one's own. In this context, many theorists emphasize the importance of critical thinking in contrast to indoctrination. Critical thinking is a form of reasoning that is reflective, careful, and focused on determining what to believe or how to act. It also involves the ability to challenge unwarranted claims by epistemic authorities, in contrast to indoctrination, which is primarily concerned with instilling certain beliefs into the student's mind without regard to their evidential status. Another debate about the aims of education is whether the primary beneficiary is the individual educated or the society having this individual as its member.
Many of the more specific discussions in the philosophy of education concern the contents of the curriculum. This involves the questions of whether, when, and in what detail a certain topic, like sex education or religion, should be taught. Other debates focus on the specific contents and methods used in moral, art, and science education. Some philosophers investigate the relation between education and power, often specifically regarding the power used by modern states to compel children to attend school, a practice rejected by some advocates of the movements of deschooling and unschooling. A different issue is the problem of the equality of education, i.e. the demand that all students should be treated equally in public education. This is often understood in the sense that education should open the same opportunities to everyone. This ideal is threatened by various sources of inequality, like active discrimination and unequal distribution of wealth. In regard to educational research, some philosophers of education promote a quantitative approach, which follows the example of the natural sciences by using wide experimental studies. Others prefer a qualitative approach, which is closer to the methodology of the social sciences and tends to give more prominence to individual case studies. A topic that came to particular prominence in the contemporary discussion is the role of standardized testing in public schools.
Various schools of philosophy have developed their own perspective on the main issues of education. Existentialists emphasize the role of authenticity while pragmatists give particular prominence to active learning and discovery. Feminists and postmodernists often try to uncover and challenge biases and forms of discrimination present in current educational practices. Other philosophical movements include perennialism, classical education, essentialism, critical pedagogy, and progressivism. The history of the philosophy of education started in ancient philosophy and has remained an important topic to the present day. Despite its long and diverse history, it only emerged as a systematic branch of philosophy in the latter half of the 20th century. In universities, the philosophy of education usually forms part of departments or colleges of education.
The philosophy of education is the branch of philosophy that examines the nature, aims, and problems of education. As the philosophical study of education, it investigates its topic similar to how other discipline-specific branches of philosophy, like the philosophy of science or the philosophy of law, study their topics. A central task for the philosophy of education is to make explicit the various fundamental assumptions and disagreements at work in its field and to evaluate the arguments raised for and against the different positions. The issue of education has a great many manifestations in various fields. Because of this, both the breadth and the influence of the philosophy of education are significant and wide-ranging, touching many other branches of philosophy, such as ethics, political philosophy, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. Its theories are often formulated from the perspective of these other philosophical disciplines. But due to its interdisciplinary nature, it also attracts contributions from scholars belonging to fields outside the domain of philosophy.
While there is wide agreement on the general topics discussed in the philosophy of education, it has proven difficult to give a precise definition of it. The philosophy of education belongs mainly to applied philosophy. According to some definitions, it can be characterized as an offshoot of ethics. But not everyone agrees with this characterization since the philosophy of education has a more theoretical side as well, which includes the examination of the fundamental concepts and theories of education as well as their philosophical implications. These two sides are sometimes referred to as the outward and the inward looking nature of the philosophy of education. Its topics can range from very general questions, like the nature of the knowledge worth teaching, to more specific issues, like how to teach art or whether public schools should implement standardized curricula and testing.
The problem of education was already an important topic in ancient philosophy and has remained so to the present day. But it only emerged as a distinct branch of philosophy in the latter half of the 20th century, when it became the subject of a systematic study and analysis. The term \"education\" can refer either to the process of educating or to the field of study investigating education as this process. This ambiguity is also reflected on the level of the philosophy of education, which encompasses the study of the philosophical presuppositions and issues both of education as a process and as a discipline. Many works in the philosophy of education focus explicitly or implicitly on the education happening in schools. But in its widest sense, education takes place in various other fields as well, such as at home, in libraries, in museums, or in the public media. Different types of education can be distinguished, such as formal and informal education or private and public education.
Different subdivisions of the philosophy of education have been suggested. One categorization distinguishes between descriptive and normative issues. Descriptive theories aim to describe what education is and how to understand its related concepts. This includes also epistemological questions, which ask not whether a theory about education is true or false, but how one can arrive at the knowledge to answer such questions. Normative theories, on the other hand, try to give an account of how education should be practiced or what is the right form of education. Some normative theories are built on a wider ethical framework of what is right or good and then arrive at their educational normative theories by applying this framework to the practice of education. But the descriptive and the normative approaches are intertwined and cannot always be clearly separated since descriptive findings often directly imply