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The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose, process, nature and ideals of education. This can be within the context of education as a social institution or more broadly as the process of human existential growth, i.e. how it is that our understanding of the world is continually transformed (be it from facts, social customs, experiences, or even our own emotions). Questions include the nature of the knowing mind and the human subject, problems of authority, the relationship between school and society, the learner-teacher dynamic, and so on.
Fundamental purposes that have been proposed for institutional education include:
- The enterprise of civil society depends on educating young people to become responsible, thoughtful and enterprising citizens. This is an intricate, challenging task requiring deep understanding of ethical principles, moral values, political theory, aesthetics, and economics; not to mention an understanding of who children are, in themselves and in society.
- Progress in every practical field depends upon having capacities that schooling can educate. Education thus is a means to fostering the individual's, society's, and even humanity's future development and prosperity. Emphasis is often put on economic success in this regard.
- One's individual development and the capacity to fulfill one's own purposes can depend upon an adequate preparation in childhood. Education thus can attempt to give a firm foundation for the achievement of personal fulfillment.
The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose, process, nature and ideals of education. This can be within the context of education as a societal institution or more broadly as the process of human existential growth, i.e. how it is that our understanding of the world is continually transformed (be it from facts, social customs, experiences, or even our own emotions).
Content of EducationEdit
- Classical education: trivium, Quadrivium, etc
- Educational essentialism
- Educational perennialism
- International education
- Outcome-based education
Method of teachingEdit
- See also: Learning theory (education)
- skills in studying
- Educational progressivism: Learn by Doing
- Montessori method
- Taking Children Seriously
- Learning via Questioning
Professional Organizations and AssociationsEdit
- Professional Organizations and Associations
- [Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia http://www.pesa.org.au]
- Canadian Philosophy of Education Society - CPES is devoted to philosophical inquiry into educational issues and their relevance for developing educative, caring, and just teachers, schools, and communities. The society welcomes inquiries about membership from professionals and graduate students who share these interests.
- Austrian Ludwig Wittgenstein Society - The aim is to discuss present-day problems in the framework of a philosophy which is methodologically explicit and whose results are presented perspicuously. The spectrum of philosophical problems extends from philosophy of science, epistemology and logic to ethics and the humanities.
- The Spencer Foundation provides funding for investigations that promise to yield new knowledge about education in the United States or abroad. The Foundation funds research grants that range in size from smaller grants that can be completed within a year, to larger, multi-year endeavours.
- Humanities Research Network - The Humanities Research Network is designed to encourage new ways of thinking about the overlapping domains of knowledge which are represented by the arts, humanities, social sciences, other related fields like law, and matauranga Maori, and new relationships among their practitioners.
- Association for Process Philosophy of Education - The APPE is an international organization of scholars and teachers dedicated to the ideas of process philosophers (Whitehead, Dewey, and Bergson) and their application to educational practice.
- Center for Dewey Studies - The Center for Dewey Studies at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale was established in 1961 as the "Dewey Project." By virtue of its publications and research, the Center has become the international focal point for research on John Dewey's life and work.
- International Network of Philosophers of Education - INPE is dedicated to fostering dialogue amongst philosophers of education around the world. It sponsors an international conference every other year.
- John Dewey Society - The John Dewey Society exists to keep alive John Dewey's commitment to the use of critical and reflective intelligence in the search for solutions to crucial problems in education and culture.
- Michael Oakeshott Association - An association devoted to the promotion and critical discussion of the work of British philosopher Michael Oakeshott (1901-1990).
- Society for the Philosophical Study of Education - This Society is a professional association of philosophers of education which holds annual meetings in the Midwest region and sponsors a discussion forum and a Graduate Student Competition.
- Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society - OVPES is a professional association of philosophers of education. We host an annual conference in the Ohio Valley region and sponsor a refereed journal: Philosophical Studies in Education.
- Philosophy of Education Society - PES is the national society for philosophy of education in the United States of America. This site provides information about PES, its services, history, and publications, and links to online resources relevant to the philosophy of education.
- Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain - PESGB promotes the study, teaching and application of philosophy of education. It has an international membership. The site provides: a guide to the Society's activities and details about the Journal of Philosophy of Education and IMPACT.
- Study Space for Philosophy and Education - This study place exists for persons who wish to engage in philosophy and education because both have value for them, quite apart from their professional responsibilities. We think networked digital information resources will enable people to reverse this ever-narrowing professionalism. This site is maintained at the Institute for Learning Technologies, Teachers College, Columbia University.
A chronological summary of the work of some of the most important and influential Western culture educational philosophers follows.
Plato is the earliest important educational thinker. He saw education as the key to creating and sustaining his Republic. He advocated extreme methods: removing children from their mothers' care and raising them as wards of the state, with great care being taken to differentiate children suitable to the various castes, the highest receiving the most education, so that they could act as guardians of the city and care for the less able. Education would be holistic, including facts, skills, physical discipline, and rigidly censored music and art.
For Plato the individual was best served by being subordinated to a just society. Plato's belief that talent was distributed non-genetically and thus must be found in children born to all classes moves us away from aristocracy, and Plato builds on this by insisting that those suitably gifted are to be trained by the state so that they may be qualified to assume the role of a ruling class. What this establishes is essentially a system of selective public education premised on the assumption that an educated minority of the population are, by virtue of their education (and inborn educability), sufficient for healthy governance.
Plato should be considered foundational for democratic philosophies of education both because later key thinkers treat him as such, and because, while Plato's methods are autocratic and his motives meritocratic, he nonetheless prefigures much later democratic philosophy of education. This is different in degree rather than kind from most versions of, say, the American experiment with democratic education, which has usually assumed that only some students should be educated to the fullest, while others may, acceptably, fall by the wayside.
Though Aristotle wrote a treatise On Education, this only survives through fragments that have come down to us. We thus know of his philosophy of education primarily through brief passages in other works. Aristotle considered nature, habit and reason to be three equally important forces to be cultivated in education. Thus, for example, he considered repetition to be a key tool to develop good habits. The teacher was to lead the student systematically; this differs, for example, from Socrates' emphasis on questioning his listeners to bring out their own ideas (though the comparison is perhaps unfair since Socrates was dealing with adults).
Aristotle placed great emphasis on balancing the theoretical and practical aspects of subjects taught. Subjects he explicitly mentions as being important included reading, writing and mathematics; music; physical education; literature and history; and a wide range of sciences. He also mentioned the importance of play.
One of education's primary missions for Aristotle, perhaps its most important, was to produce good and virtuous citizens for the polis. All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth.
See Of Education
See Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693).
Rousseau (1712-78), though he paid his respects to Plato's philosophy, rejected it as impractical due to the decayed state of society. Rousseau also had a different theory of human development; where Plato held that people are born with skills appropriate to different castes (though he did not regard these skills as being inherited), Rousseau held that there was one developmental process common to all humans. This was an intrinsic, natural process, of which the primary behavioral manifestation was curiosity. This differed from Locke's tabula rasa in that it was an active process deriving from the child's nature, which drove the child to learn and adapt to its surroundings.
Rousseau wrote in his book Emile that all children are perfectly designed organisms, ready to learn from their surroundings so as to grow into virtuous adults, but due to the malign influence of corrupt society, they often fail to do so. Rousseau advocated an educational method which consisted of removing the child from society—for example, to a country home—and alternately conditioning him through changes to environment and setting traps and puzzles for him to solve or overcome.
Rousseau was unusual in that he recognized and addressed the potential of a problem of legitimation for teaching. He advocated that adults always be truthful with children, and in particular that they never hide the fact that the basis for their authority in teaching was purely one of physical coercion: "I'm bigger than you." Once children reached the age of reason, at about 12, they would be engaged as free individuals in the ongoing process of their own.
- Main article: John Dewey
Rudolf Steiner Edit
Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925), a philosopher and writer, created a holistic educational impulse that has become known as Waldorf Education. He emphasizes a balance of developing the intellect (or head), feeling and artistic life (or heart), and practical skills (or hands). The education focuses on producing free individuals, and Steiner expected it to enable a new, freer social order to arise, through the creative, free human beings that it would develop.
Waldorf Education is based on Steiner's philosophy, known as anthroposophy, and divides education into three discrete developmental stages; these stages predate but have close similarities to Piaget's stages of child development.
Throughout the education, a great importance is placed upon having free and creative individuals as teachers; thus, schools should have an appropriate amount of freedom to shape their own curriculum and teachers should have a corresponding freedom to shape the daily life of the classroom. In order for such a system to function, intensive work must take place both amongst teachers within schools and between schools to provide the necessary communication, training and development.
Waldorf education includes a respect for children's physical nature, rhythmic life (technical term: ether body), consciousness (technical term: astral body) and individuality (ego). Anthroposophy includes teachings about reincarnation and schools often try to foster an awareness that each human being - and thus each child - carries a unique being into this earthly life.
As both an independent educational model and a major influence upon other educators - such as Maria Montessori - Waldorf education is currently both one of the largest and one of the fastest growing educational movements in the world. Waldorf schools are also increasingly operating as state-funded (in the U.S.A. charter) schools or even state-run (in the U.S.A. public) schools.
B.F. Skinner Edit
One of B.F. Skinner's (1904-90) contributions to education philosophy is his text Walden Two wherein he details the failings of society and education, as one is intricately and intrinsically linked to the other. The pedagogical methods direct instruction and precision teaching owe much to his ideas. Behaviorist theories play largely in his proposed ideas of social engineering.
Precision Teaching, developed by Skinner's student Ogden Lindsley, uses the basic philosophy that the "learner knows best". Each learner is charted on a unique graph known as a "Standard Celeration Chart". The record of the rate of learning is tracked by this charting and decisions can be made from these data concerning changes in an educational program.
B.F.Skinner developed the theory of "operant conditioning," the idea that we behave the way we do because this kind of behavior has had certain consequences in the past
- Main article: Maria Montessori
Jean Piaget Edit
- Main article: Jean Piaget
Paulo Freire Edit
- Main article: Paulo Freire
A Brazilian who became committed to the cause of educating the impoverished peasants of his nation and collaborating with them in the pursuit of their liberation from oppression, Paulo Freire (1921-97) contributes a philosophy of education that comes not only from the more classical approaches stemming from Plato, but also from modern Marxist and anti-colonialist thinkers. In fact, in many ways his Pedagogy of the Oppressed may best be read as an extension of or reply to Frantz Fanon's Wretched of the Earth, which laid strong emphasis on the need to provide native populations with an education which was simultaneously new and modern (rather than traditional) and anti-colonial (that is, that was not simply an extension of the culture of the colonizer).
Freire is best-known for his attack on what he called the banking concept of education, in which the student was viewed as an empty account to be filled by the teacher. Of course, this is not really a new move--Rousseau's conception of the child as an active learner was already a step away from the tabula rasa (which is basically the same as the "banking concept"), and thinkers like John Dewey and Alfred North Whitehead were strongly critical of the transmission of mere facts as the goal of education.
More challenging, however, is Freire's strong aversion to the teacher-student dichotomy. This dichotomy is admitted in Rousseau and constrained in Dewey, but Freire comes close to insisting that it should be completely abolished. Critics have argued that this is impossible (there must be some enactment of the teacher-student relationship in the parent-child relationship), but what Freire suggests is that a deep reciprocity be inserted into our notions of teacher and student. Freire wants us to think in terms of teacher-student and student-teacher, that is, a teacher who learns and a learner who teaches, as the basic roles of classroom participation.
This is one of the few attempts anywhere to implement something like democracy as an educational method and not merely a goal of democratic education. Even Dewey, for whom democracy was a touchstone, did not integrate democratic practices fully into his methods. (Though this is in part a function of his peculiar attitudes toward individuality and his idea of democracy as a way of living rather than merely a polticial practice or method.) However, in its early, strong form this kind of classroom has sometimes been criticized on the grounds that it can mask rather than overcome the teacher's authority.
Freire's work is widely-read by educationalists but is less respected among philosophers.[How to reference and link to summary or text]
Aspects of the Freirian philosophy have been highly influential in academic debates over 'participatory development' and development more generally. Freire's emphasis on emancipation through interactive participation has been used as a rationale for the participatory focus of development, as it is held that 'participation' in any fora can lead to empowerment of poor or marginalised groups. Critics argue that the inherently undemocratic, unequal nature of development projects forecloses any possibility of Freirian emancipation, but many cling to the 'empowering potential' of development.
Neil Postman and the Inquiry Method Edit
Neil Postman has been a strong contemporary voice in both methods and philosophy of education. His 1969 book "Teaching as a Subversive Activity" (co-authored with Charles Weingartner) introduced the concept of a school driven by the inquiry method, the basis of which is to get the students themselves to ask and answer relevant questions. The "teacher" (the two authors disdained the term and thought a new one should be used) would be limited in the number of declarative sentences he could utter per class, as well as questions he personally knew the answer to. The aim of this type of inquiry would be to provide the conditions for students to build progressively what they don't know on top of what they do, and for the teacher to understand, through close listening, what the student knows, from where he/she can continue to provide the conditions for the learner to progress, and develop their understanding. This may be opposed to methods based on answers and knowing rather than understanding.
Postman went on to write several more books on education, notably "Teaching as a Conserving Activity" and "The End of Education." The latter deals with the importance of goals or "gods" to students, and Postman suggests several "gods" capable of replacing the current ones offered in schools, namely, Economic Utility and Consumerism.
Another important contributor to the inquiry method in education is Jerome Bruner. His books "The Process of Education" and "Toward a Theory of Instruction" are landmarks in conceptualizing learning and curriculum development. He argued that any subject can be taught in some intellectually honest form to any child at any stage of development. This notion was an underpinning for his concept of the spiral curriculum which posited the idea that a curriculum should revisit basic ideas, building on them until the student had grasped the full formal concept. He emphasized intuition as a neglected but essential feature of productive thinking. He felt that interest in the material being learned was the best stimulis for learning rather than external motivation such as grades. Bruner developed the concept of discovery learning which promoted learning as a process of constructing new ideas based on current or past knowledge. Students are encouraged to discover facts and relationships and continually build on what they already know.
John Taylor Gatto Edit
- Main article: John Taylor Gatto
Spiritual successor to The Hidden Curriculum, Gatto takes a historical view of educational systems as primarily and purposefully socializing and normative, as opposed to the stated goal as a vehicle for individual personal development.
John Caldwell HoltEdit
- Main article: John Caldwell Holt
A teacher and an observer of children and education, Holt asserted that the academic failure of schoolchildren was not in spite of the efforts of schools, but actually a product of the schools themselves. Not surprisingly his first book, How Children Fail (published in 1964), ignited a firestorm of controversy. Holt was catapulted into the American national consciousness to the extent that he made appearances on major TV talk shows, wrote book reviews for Life magazine, and was a guest on the To Tell The Truth TV game show. In his follow-up work, How Children Learn, 1967, he tried to demonstrate the learning process of children and why he believed school short circuits this process.
In neither book had he suggested any alternative to institutional schooling; he had hoped to initiate a profound rethinking of education to make schools friendlier toward children. As the years passed he became convinced that the way schools were was what society wanted, and that a serious re-examination was not going to happen in his lifetime.
Leaving teaching to publicize his ideas about education full time, he encountered books by other authors questioning the premises and efficacy of compulsory schooling, like Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich, 1970, and No More Public School by Harold Bennet, 1972 (which went so far as to offer advice to parents on how to keep their children out of school illegally). Then, in 1976, he published Instead of Education; Ways to Help People Do Things Better. In its conclusion he called for a "Children's Underground Railroad" to help children escape compulsory schooling. In response, families from around the U.S. contacted Holt to tell him that they were educating their children at home. In 1977, after corresponding with a number of these families, Holt began producing a magazine dedicated to home education (which he called unschooling): Growing Without Schooling. Today, "unschooling" is synonymous with Holt's educational philosophy.
Holt's philosophy was simple: "... the human animal is a learning animal; we like to learn; we are good at it; we don't need to be shown how or made to do it. What kills the processes are the people interfering with it or trying to regulate it or control it." It was no great leap from there to arrive at homeschooling, and Holt later said, in 1980, "I want to make it clear that I don’t see homeschooling as some kind of answer to badness of schools. I think that the home is the proper base for the exploration of the world which we call learning or education. Home would be the best base no matter how good the schools were."
Holt actually wrote only one book about homeschooling, Teach Your Own, 1981, and continued to hope for more expansive reform within education until his death in 1985.
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- Main article: Martin Heidegger
There is today significant interest in Heidegger as an educational philosopher worldwide. Some reasons for this can be discerned. New Heideggerian material in English is being published; new interpretations are appearing; and there are those who seek to tease out the implications of Heideggerian thought in the practical world (Heidegger, 2005; Inwood, 2002b, p.ix; Skirbekk, 1969; Tallis, 2002; Young, 2002). The new interpretation of Being and Time by Stambaugh reads differently from the Macquarrie Robinson translation from its very first sentence (Heidegger, 1996). There is also a developing literature that seeks to relate Heidegger’s writing to his lived life and circumstances. This has provided new perspectives regarding the theory (Caputo, 1993; Wolin, 2001; Wolin, 1993). In addition, the hermeneutic philosophy of science is drawing upon and developing Heidegger’s ideas (Babich, 2002b; Ginev, 2002; Mays, 2002; Toulmin, 2002).
There is a debate about the potential of Heidegger’s work to inform educational thinking and practice (Peters, 2002). “Although Heidegger’s work has influenced scholarship in numerous fields, little to no influence has found its way into education” (Ream & Ream, 2005, p.589).
Heidegger might initially appear to be a strange candidate for the role of educational reformer because he was as an author said “ultraconservative” and was fond of repeating Hölderlin’s maxim “As you begin, so you shall remain” (Wolin, 2001, p.207 & p.206). Gur-Ze’ev notes “… Heidegger makes no effort to contribute to normalizing education or to scientific thinking … nor can he contribute, as some scholars would suggest, to the improvement of schooling” (Gur-Ze'ev, 2002, p.75). Peterson (2005) writes about Heidegger’s authoritarian pedagogy, his autocratic approach to university administration, and the relationship of these things to Weimar Germany.
Cooper argues that Heidegger’s philosophy as a whole can assist our understanding of education. He says that educationalists should be helpfully informed by Heidegger’s “way of looking at the world” and his philosophy as a whole, both as a perspective in itself and also because of the more full understanding of specific ideas that such a perspective may bring (Cooper, 2002, p.47). Cooper focuses on the nature of truth and the status of science, which are relevant to schooling. Hogan elaborates on where to find the potential of Heidegger to inform education. For him it is in Heidegger’s difference from “what the dominant modes and tempers in Western philosophy have furnished for thought and action” (Hogan, 2002, p.211).
There are intellectual disciplines and sectors of education where people have sought to make use of Heidegger’s work. Cooper cites examples of Heidegger’s thought in several disciplines, Lambeir considers information technology in schools, and Thomson considers how Heidegger might provide a “positive vision for the future of higher education” by understanding our educational crisis “ontohistorically” (Cooper, 2002, p.47; Lambeir, 2002; Thomson, 2001). Gur-Ze’ev suggests that the “philosophy of Martin Heidegger is of much relevance for the elaboration of an attempt to open the gate to counter-education as an open possibility” (Gur-Ze'ev, 2002, p.67). Bonnett explores how Heidegger contributes to our understanding of learning and a “full educational relationship between learner and teacher” (Bonnett, 2002, p.230). Bonnett and Morris have attempted to speak directly to teachers about the use of existentialism in practice (Bonnett, 1994; Morris, 1961; Morris, 1966).
There are also papers that take some aspect of Heidegger and relate that to some disciplinary area of education. Examples are relatively common in nursing education (Diekelmann & Ironside, 1998; Van Der Wal, 2001), and there is Irwin’s paper on Heidegger and Nietzsche in relation to values education (Irwin, 2003). There are also specifically curriculum oriented papers, for example there is one that uses Heidegger’s work to draw conclusions about the teaching of English (Pike, 2003) and I have developed a science distance education pedagogy drawing on Heidegger (Shaw, 2004). Greene has related the teaching of literature to Merleau-Ponty, Camus and Heidegger (Greene, 1997). By reading Moby Dick, she says, students can gain self-understanding through the experience of having things revealed or unconcealed. She cites Poetry Language and Thought as supportive of this view (Greene, 1997, pp.172-173). All these papers make use of things Heidegger wrote and probably gain authority from the citation. However, they do not strongly relate curriculum or subject areas to the core of Heidegger’s work. They do not take being/truth and link that whole phenomenon to their curriculum interest. Perhaps those who write about Heidegger and the arts curriculum (widely interpreted) are the exception to this generalisation.
The latter Heidegger wrote a great deal about art, and he related this to truth and being in a direct way (Babich, 2002a). Consequently, those concerned with the arts in education were led naturally to consider what I have called the “core” of Heidegger’s thesis. One example is the work of Mansfield in the field of music education. She cites evidence of the extent to which music education is defined by an implicit but little understood ground of Enframing, relates a music curriculum directly to the value of technology, and relates being and disclosure to art (J. Mansfield, 2005; J. E. Mansfield, 2003). Grierson has also provided an account of art, technology and a close reading of Heidegger (Grierson, 2003).
The core of Heidegger’s work is his concern with Being which he describes as the “matter of thinking” (Young, 2002, p.5) and Being constitutes the “hidden essence of truth” (Heidegger, 1969, p.83). Whilst there is interest in Heidegger’s work in relation to education, there does not appear to be much on the very critical matter of truth and its direct involvement in thinking about education. No one seems to have asked how Heidegger’s ontological concept of truth might be of use in our engagement with contemporary pedagogical concerns.
I have suggested that recent debates in education that draw upon Heidegger are not closely associated with Heideggerian being/truth. As recent commentators said “… further work needs to be done in order to demonstrate the relationship shared by Heidegger’s theory of ontology and learning environments” (Ream & Ream, 2005, p.589).
However, there is some work by “existential phenomenologists” (the term Donald Vandenberg uses to describe himself) that may be heading towards the Heideggerian core. Vandenberg brought into English the work of Continental writers who are concerned with schooling and phenomenology.
Because of their potential relevance to thinking about the development of horizons of disclosure, I want to record two of the contributions by the existentialist phenomenologists: the “being-in-the-law” idea and the existential model of human development.
The idea of “being-in-the-law” is an extension of Heidegger’s terminology into a practical and intellectual discipline. It heralds a discussion about a new horizon. Vandenberg sets out the base concept clearly: “The designation being-in-the-law concerns the externalization of one’s projection in accordance to the space of law in the generic sense, which means into the space disclosed by particular laws that are absolutely just, but to none other” (Vandenberg, 1971, p.200).
“That is, laws do not exist in books, courts or out in social space: they become grounded ontologically only in individual existence through the individual’s projection into the space they define. … He who does not see that the laws are to be ‘obeyed’ needs not legal instruction but an existential conversion from being-in-the-world to being-in-the-law that is not unlike the conversion from being-in-the-world to being in the truth” (Vandenberg, 1971, pp.201-202, who acknowledged his debt to Maihofer).
Kierkegaard and Gardini hypothesis existential “life-phases” based upon events such as conception, birth, pubescence, societal entrance, levelling off, retirement, and dependence. Kierkegaard’s phases are the:
1. Esthetic phase (resolution of crises of experience)
2. Ethical phase (idealism, hedonistic resolution)
3. Teleological phase (synthesis of the earlier phases).
Gardini’s life phases are:
1. Pre natal life
4. Young adult hood
5. Mature adulthood
6. Old age
Gardini’s life phases – which, he says, are not clearly separate one from the other in practice - are hypothesised as “ontologically distinct forms of existence”. In this way, he introduces the possibility of developing the concept of Dasein and the possibility of relating horizons (and thus truth) to Dasein in a more comprehensive manner. We might consider the Child-Dasein, Dasein, and Elderly-Dasein, each with different forms or ways of being.
One purpose of Vandenberg’s book Being and Education is to develop a phenomenological account of the development of Dasein through stages (Vandenberg, 1971). Examining stage theories is beyond the scope of the present theses, however the ideas that they relate to are of interest because the notion of pedagogy involves change in the student and we may discover something helpful if we consider ontological and phenomenological accounts of Dasein that relate to change.
My conclusion about Heidegger and education generally is that there is extensive interest in his work and its potential to inform education. However, there is little focus on how the core of Heidegger’s thinking, which is the being/truth concept (that entails the notion of horizon). It is this concept that might be the base of a systematic pedagogy. Some scholars have produced works relevant to aspects of this theme, including the educational phenomenologists. However, I have been unable to identify anyone who has directly addressed the question of Heideggerian truth and pedagogy.
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Critical responses and counter-philosophies Edit
Critics have accused the philosophy of education of being one the weakest subfields of both philosophy and education, disconnected from philosophy (by being insufficiently rigorous for the tastes of many "real" philosophers) and from the broader study and practice of education (by being too philosophical, too theoretical).
Its proponents state that it is an exacting and critical branch of philosophy and point out that there are few major philosophers who have not written on education, and who do not consider the philosophy of education a necessity. For example, Plato undertakes to discuss all these elements in The Republic, beginning the formulation of educational philosophy that endures today.
- ↑ The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher
- ↑ The Old Schoolhouse Meets Up with Patrick Farenga About the Legacy of John Holt, http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/How_To_Homeschool/articles/articles.php?aid=97
- ↑ The Old Schoolhouse Meets Up with Patrick Farenga About the Legacy of John Holt , http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com/How_To_Homeschool/articles/articles.php?aid=97
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
<ref>tag; no text was provided for refs named
- Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Education
- Philosophy of Education Society (U.S.)
- Canadian Philosophy of Education Society
- Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain
- Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia
- International Network of Philosophers of Education
- Five Educational Philosophies by Larry J. Shaw, San Diego State U]
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