Philosophical Basis of Education

6031 Words Apr 28th, 2011 25 Pages
INTRODUCTION

In this unit we will discuss the inter-dependence of philosophy and education. After discussing the impact of philosophy on education and vice-versa, we will describe briefly the different schools of philosophy viz. Naturalism, Idealism and Pragmatism, and their implications for education in curriculum, role of the teacher and the nature of discipline. While explaining the ideas advocated by different schools of philosophy on above concepts, this unit will also incorporate the views of both Western as well as Indian thinkers.

PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION AND THEIR INTER-DEPENDENCE

The inter-dependence of philosophy and education is clearly seen from the fact that the great philosphers of all times have also been great
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Educational philosophy depends on formal philosophy because most of the major problems of education are in fact philosophical problems. Like general philosophy, educational philosophy is speculative, prescriptive critical or analytic.

NATURALISM AND EDUCATION

Naturalism as a philosophy of education was developed in the 18th century. It is based on the assumpiion that nature represents the wholeness of reality. Nature, itself, is a total system that contains and explains all existence including human beings and human nature. According to naturalists the material and the physical world is govered by certain laws, and man, who is the creator of the material world, must submit to it. It denies the existence of anything beyond nature, behind nature and other than nature such as supernaturalism.

In terms of epistemology or theory of knowledge, naturalists highlight the value of scientific knowledge. Francis Bacon emphasizes the inductive method for acquiring the scientific knowledge through specific observation, accumulation and generalisation. He also lays emphasis on the empirical and experimental knowledge. Naturalists also lay stress on sensory training as senses are the gateways to learning.

To naturalists, values arise from the human beings' interaction with the environment. Instincts. drives and impulses need to be expressed rather than repressed. According to them, there is no absolute good or evil in the world. Values of life are created by