Hence, a philosophy of education would be elaboration and discussion of the general principles of training and developing the knowledge, skill, mind and character of a person or people....
My five general purposes for philosophy of education are: to set goals of plan, to teach useful and relevant information, be aware of students learning styles, modeling positive cooperative behavior, to look for solutions and to make sure those solutions are working....
Philosophy of education studies the discipline and process of education with the aim of improving and perfecting its applications for the betterment of society and humanity. It brings together ideas, aims, concepts, and the analytic approaches to education. For instance, it examines deeply the development of an individual and the constitutions of education in relation to the environment and the society in general. In addition to that, it evaluates the relationship between the theories of education and practice in real life situations. Therefore, it unifies the theories of learning, curriculum and pedagogy.
It is evident that children are born ignorant, innumerate and illiterate. However, education has successfully helped to transform them into knowledgeable members of their societies who understands the cultural diversity, social coexistence and political mechanisms of their communities or society. This is either through formal, informal or both. The functions of philosophy as it relates an individual to the society are to provide education to the individual that consequently transforms and improves their skills in critical thinking. This lifts them to a position to discern and make meaningful decisions. Secondly, is to reassure the individual of the responsibility they hold in the society and the need to offer their contributions back to the society that equips them with the knowledge, food and clothes.
Philosophy of education takes into consideration the nature of institutions involved, analyzing its operations in academic, social and administrative structures hence offering criticism on their credibility. As delicate as it seems, it defines the interrelation and the interdependency of the parties, groups or individuals involved. Moreover, specifying boundaries along administrative hierarchy. Institutions and systems that provide education are unique and diverse. However, all of them are after excellence and have the same goals to achieve; to provide the learners with the necessary skills to enable them tackle real life tasks and as well as to be able to offer their own assessment and judgments to life situations and challenges.
In essence, then, there are two senses of the term“philosopher” and its cognates: a loose but common sense inwhich any individual who cogitates in any manner about such issues asthe meaning of life, the nature of social justice, the essence ofsportsmanship, the aims of education, the foundations of the schoolcurriculum, or relationship with the Divine, is thereby a philosopher;and a more technical sense referring to those who have beenformally trained or have acquired competence in one or more areas suchas epistemology, metaphysics, moral philosophy, logic, philosophy ofscience, and the like. If this bifurcation presents a problem foradequately delineating the field of philosophy, the difficulties growtenfold or more with respect to philosophy of education.
In describing the field of philosophy, and in particular the sub-fieldof philosophy of education, one quickly runs into a difficulty notfound to anything like the same degree in other disciplines. Forexample, although there are some internal differences in opinion,nevertheless there seems to be quite a high degree of consensus withinthe domain of quantum physics about which researchers are competentmembers of the field and which ones are not, and what work is a strong(or potential) contribution. The very nature of philosophy, on theother hand, is “essentially contested”; what counts as asound philosophical work within one school of thought, orsocio-cultural or academic setting, may not be so regarded (and mayeven be the focus of derision) in a different one. Coupled with thisis the fact that the borders of the field are not policed, so that thephilosophically untrained can cross into it freely—indeed, overthe past century or more a great many individuals from across thespectrum of real and pseudo disciplines have for whatever reasonexercised their right to self-identify as members of this broad andloosely defined category of “philosophers” (as a fewminutes spent browsing in the relevant section of a bookstore or someof the less scholarly education journals will verify).
This essay offers a description and assessment of the field as seen byscholars rooted firmly in the formal branch of “philosophy ofeducation”, and moreover this branch as it has developed in theEnglish-speaking world (which does not, of course, entirely rule outinfluences from Continental philosophy); but first it is necessary tosay a little more about the difficulties that confront the individualwho sets out, without presuppositions, to understand the topography of“philosophy of education”.
It will not take long for a person who consults several of theintroductory texts alluded to earlier to encounter a number ofdifferent bodies of work that have by one source or another beenregarded as part of the domain of philosophy of education; theinclusion of some of these as part of the field is largely responsiblefor the diffuse topography described earlier. What follows is aninformal and incomplete accounting.
Third, there are a number of educational theorists and researcherswhose field of activity is not philosophy but (forexample) human development or learning theory, who intheir technical work and sometimes in their non-technical books andreflective essays explicitly raise philosophical issues or adoptphilosophical modes of argumentation—and do so in ways worthy ofcareful study. If philosophy (including philosophy of education) isdefined so as to include analysis and reflection at an abstract or“meta-level”, which undoubtedly is a domain where manyphilosophers labor, then these individuals should have a place in theannals of philosophy or philosophy of education; but too often,although not always, accounts of the field ignore them. Their workmight be subjected to scrutiny for being educationally important, buttheir conceptual or philosophical contributions are rarely focusedupon. (Philosophers of the physical and biological sciences are farless prone to make this mistake about the meta-level work ofreflective scientists in these domains.)
(2010) British Journal of Religious Education, Promoting positive attitudes towards science and religion among sixth-form pupils: dealing with scientism and creationism.