I believe that education is an individual, unique experience for every student who enters a classroom.
Suffice it to say that some philosophers, as well as focusing inward on the abstract philosophical issues that concern them, are drawn outwards to discuss or comment on issues that are more commonly regarded as falling within the purview of professional educators, educational researchers, policy-makers and the like.
An example is Michael Scriven, who in his early career was a prominent philosopher of science; later he became a central figure in the development of the field of evaluation of educational and social programs. See Scriven a, b. At the same time, there are professionals in the educational or closely related spheres who are drawn to discuss one or another of the philosophical issues that they encounter in the course of their work.
An example here is the behaviorist psychologist B. Skinner, the central figure in the development of operant conditioning and programmed learning, who in works such as Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity grappled—albeit controversially—with major philosophical issues that were related to his work.
What makes the field even more amorphous is the existence of works on educational topics, written by well-regarded philosophers who have made major contributions to their discipline; these educational reflections have little or no philosophical content, illustrating the truth that philosophers do not always write philosophy.
However, despite this, works in this genre have often been treated as contributions to philosophy of education. Finally, as indicated earlier, the domain of education is vast, the issues it raises are almost overwhelmingly numerous and are of great complexity, and the social significance of the field is second to none.
These features make the phenomena and problems of education of great interest to a wide range of socially-concerned intellectuals, who bring with them their own favored conceptual frameworks—concepts, theories and ideologies, methods of analysis and argumentation, metaphysical and other assumptions, and the like.
It is not surprising that scholars who work in this broad genre also find a home in the field of philosophy of education. As a result of these various factors, the significant intellectual and social trends of the past few centuries, together with the significant developments in philosophy, all have had an impact on the content of arguments and methods of argumentation in philosophy of education—Marxism, psycho-analysis, existentialism, phenomenology, positivism, post-modernism, pragmatism, neo-liberalism, the several waves of feminism, analytic philosophy in both its ordinary language and more formal guises, are merely the tip of the iceberg.
Analytic Philosophy of Education and Its Influence Conceptual analysis, careful assessment of arguments, the rooting out of ambiguity, the drawing of clarifying distinctions—all of which are at least part of the philosophical toolkit—have been respected activities within philosophy from the dawn of the field.
No doubt it somewhat over-simplifies the complex path of intellectual history to suggest that what happened in the twentieth century—early on, in the home discipline itself, and with a lag of a decade or more in philosophy of education—is that philosophical analysis came to be viewed by some scholars as being the major philosophical activity or set of activitiesor even as being the only viable or reputable activity.
The pioneering work in the modern period entirely in an analytic mode was the short monograph by C. Hardie, Truth and Fallacy in Educational Theory ; reissued in In his Introduction, Hardie who had studied with C.
Richards made it clear that he was putting all his eggs into the ordinary-language-analysis basket: The Cambridge analytical school, led by Moore, Broad and Wittgenstein, has attempted so to analyse propositions that it will always be apparent whether the disagreement between philosophers is one concerning matters of fact, or is one concerning the use of words, or is, as is frequently the case, a purely emotive one.
It is time, I think, that a similar attitude became common in the field of educational theory. Ennis edited the volume Language and Concepts in Education ; and R. Archambault edited Philosophical Analysis and Educationconsisting of essays by a number of prominent British writers, most notably R.
Among the most influential products of APE was the analysis developed by Hirst and Peters and Peters of the concept of education itself.
A criminal who has been reformed has changed for the better, and has developed a commitment to the new mode of life if one or other of these conditions does not hold, a speaker of standard English would not say the criminal has been reformed.
Clearly the analogy with reform breaks down with respect to the knowledge and understanding conditions. The concept of indoctrination was also of great interest to analytic philosophers of education, for, it was argued, getting clear about precisely what constitutes indoctrination also would serve to clarify the border that demarcates it from acceptable educational processes.
Thus, whether or not an instructional episode was a case of indoctrination was determined by the content taught, the intention of the instructor, the methods of instruction used, the outcomes of the instruction, or by some combination of these. Adherents of the different analyses used the same general type of argument to make their case, namely, appeal to normal and aberrant usage.
Unfortunately, ordinary language analysis did not lead to unanimity of opinion about where this border was located, and rival analyses of the concept were put forward Snook First, there were growing criticisms that the work of analytic philosophers of education had become focused upon minutiae and in the main was bereft of practical import.
It is worth noting that a article in Time, reprinted in Lucashad put forward the same criticism of mainstream philosophy. Fourth, during the decade of the seventies when these various critiques of analytic philosophy were in the process of eroding its luster, a spate of translations from the Continent stimulated some philosophers of education in Britain and North America to set out in new directions, and to adopt a new style of writing and argumentation.
The classic works of Heidegger and Husserl also found new admirers; and feminist philosophers of education were finding their voices—Maxine Greene published a number of pieces in the s and s, including The Dialectic of Freedom ; the influential book by Nel Noddings, Caring: In more recent years all these trends have continued.
APE was and is no longer the center of interest, although, as indicated below, it still retains its voice. Areas of Contemporary Activity As was stressed at the outset, the field of education is huge and contains within it a virtually inexhaustible number of issues that are of philosophical interest.
To attempt comprehensive coverage of how philosophers of education have been working within this thicket would be a quixotic task for a large single volume and is out of the question for a solitary encyclopedia entry.
Nevertheless, a valiant attempt to give an overview was made in A Companion to the Philosophy of Education Currenwhich contains more than six-hundred pages divided into forty-five chapters each of which surveys a subfield of work.Find Kenyatta University Philosophy Of Education previous year question paper.
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Philosophy of education is the branch of applied or practical philosophy concerned with the nature and aims of education and the philosophical problems arising from educational theory and practice.
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