Concept of Educational Philosophy
The term ‘philosophy’ is derived from the Greek word ‘philos’ which means ‘love of’ and
‘sophia’ which means ‘wisdom’. Thus, philosophy means the ‘love of wisdom’. It is thus concern with a search for eternal truth.
Philosophy is in fact a systematic inquiry about the ultimate realities in the universe. It is a study of general principles and understanding of all that comes in the range of human experience. It seeks to know the real value of things as distinct from their fresh value.
Definition of Philosophy
Different philosophers defined the term ‘philosophy’ in different manners
According to John Dewey, ‘Philosophy is critical reviewing of just those familiar things’
According to Raymond, ‘Philosophy is an unceasing effort to discover the general truth that lies behind the particular facts’
Thus, it is understood that philosophy is mostly an idea of what is possible and not a record of accomplished facts. Hence it is hypothetical. It may or may not be proved true.
It may be described as, ‘Generalize thinking in relation to its place, concern and value in experience’. In broader sense, it is a particular way of looking at things.
Philosophy and education are closely related to each other just like flower and fragrance.
While the later is the active side. Education is the dynamic side of Philosophy. In other words, it is the Philosophy in action.
The close relationship between Philosophy and education lead to the emergence of a new branch of knowledge, “Philosophy of Education”, which traditionally assumed the burden of formalize goals, norms and standards by which to conduct the educative process.
According to Russel, ‘Philosophy of education is a new branch of knowledge which discusses education from philosophical point of view’.
An educational philosophy is a personal statement of a teacher’s guiding principles are most effectively maximized, as well as, the role of the educators in the classroom, school, community and society.
It teaches teachers to come to classroom with a unique set of principles and ideals that helps the students. A statement of educational philosophy somehow distantness through self-reflection, professional growth and sometimes sharing with the learner’s school community.
Nature and Scope of Educational Philosophy
Educational Philosophy is the combination of both philosophy and education. Both the subjects are in fact the either side of the same coin. Philosophy is contemplative while education is active side. Therefore, educational philosophy can be termed as applied philosophy where philosophical direction is followed. However, the basic nature of educational philosophy can be summarized as follows:
1. Educational Philosophy looks at the problem of education in all aspects.
2. It studies the complex and deeper problems of education and suggests solutions.
3. John Dewey views that, ‘Philosophy is the theory of education in its most general phases’.
Some thinkers are of the view that philosophy is the foundation on which the super structure of education is based.
The scope and field of educational philosophy is very vast. It encompasses all the major aspects of education. However, the broad scope and field of educational philosophy can be understood by the following points:
1. It determines the aims of education.
2. It determines curriculum.
3. It takes into account method of teaching.
4. It determines the nature and forms of discipline.
5. It influences the thinking and behavior of a teacher.
6. It is very much connected with school organization.
Relationship between Education and Philosophy
Apparently, there seems to be little connection between philosophy and education. One is science while the other is an art. One is speculative while the other is practical. Philosophy determines the supreme aim of life and checks standards and values that should guide and direct men’s educational approach to achieve them. Philosophy is a major concern of education. There is in fact an intimate relationship between philosophy and education which can be explained in the following manners:
a. Philosophy points out the way to be followed by education: Philosophy points out the way to be followed by the educators to the modification of the child’s behavior. Philosophy deals with the ends and education with the means to achieve those ends. Philosophy formulates the method or the process to be followed in classroom transaction. It gives ideals, values and principles. Education workout those ideals, values and principles.
b.. Education is the best means for the
propagation of philosophy: According to Ross, philosophy and education are the
two sides of the same coin. The former is contemplative and the later is the
active side. In the words of Sir John Adam, education is the dynamic side of
philosophy. Philosophy set the goals of life. Education provides the means for
c. All great philosophers of the world
have also been great educators: The intimate relationship between the
philosophy and education is yet another way. The philosophy of all times from
Plato up to present day have also been great educators. Philosophers like
Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, Spencer, John Dewey, Tagore, Gandhi were also great
d. Philosophy determines all the broad aspects of education: Philosophy provides aims to education. These aims determine the curriculum, the method of teaching, the problem of school organization and school discipline and also the role of a teacher in the educational process. Thus, so long as we need aim of education, the philosophy will continue influencing and determining both the matter and method of education. It will continue making a unique to the development of educational theory and practice.