What is the Philosophy of Education?

The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose, process and nature of education. It asks fundamental questions about the nature of learning and teaching, what is taught and why.

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There are many different philosophies of education, but they can be broadly grouped into three main types: Liberal, Radical and Conservative.

Liberalism emphasizes the importance of the individual and the need to provide each individual with the opportunity to develop their talents and abilities to the fullest extent. This means that education should be free and available to all, regardless of social class or background.

Radicalism stresses the need for equality and social justice. Radicals believe that education should be used as a tool to transform society, by raising awareness of social injustice and encouraging people to challenge existing inequalities.

Conservatism is concerned with preserving existing social structures and hierarchy. Conservatives believe that education should prepare people for their role in society, and that children should be taught according to their abilities and aptitudes.

What is the Philosophy of Education?

The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose, process, nature and ideals of education. It is usually considered a branch of philosophy, but it can also be studied within the field of education. The philosophy of education can be divided into two main branches: normative philosophy of education and critical philosophy of education.

The History of the Philosophy of Education

The philosophy of education is an ancient discipline that has been debated by many great thinkers across the centuries. While there is no one “philosophy of education,” there are certain ideas and approaches that have been influential in shaping the field.

Plato, one of the earliest and most important philosophers of education, argued that education should be used to promote justice and truth. Aristotle, another major figure in the history of philosophy of education, believed that education should be used to develop virtuous citizens. The Stoics believed that education should instill self-control and wisdom.

In more recent centuries, thinkers such as John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau have argued that education should be used to promote individual liberty and freedom. Immanuel Kant believed that education should ignite our sense of duty and morality. And John Dewey argued that education should be used to promote social reform and democracy.

Though there is no one “philosophy of education,” these various perspectives offer important insights into the goals and purpose of education. As we continue to debate the role of education in society, we can draw on the wisdom of these thinkers to help us formulate our own values and beliefs about the purpose of schooling.

The Nature of the Philosophy of Education

The philosophy of education is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions concerning the nature, goals, and methods of education. The philosophy of education is concerned with all aspects of education, from the general principles underlying education to specific pedagogical practices. The philosophy of education also overlaps with the field of educational theory.

The Aims of Education

The philosophy of education can be difficult to pin down. It may encompass everything from the methods we use to teach children, to the reasons why we believe education is important. Typically, though, the philosophy of education is vitally concerned with two things: the aims of education, and the methods we use to achieve them.

The Importance of Aims in Education

It is only within the last century that the words “education” and “schooling” have been used to mean almost the same thing. Before that time, “education” meant all the real-life experiences that people had as they grew up, while “schooling” referred only to the kind of organized learning that took place in schools. These days, most people think of education as something that happens mainly in schools, although they would probably also agree that education starts long before children first go to school and continues throughout life.

One reason why it is important to think about the aims of education is that doing so can help us make sure that schools are providing the kind of education that we want for our children. Another reason is that understanding the aims of education can help us create a more efficient and effective educational system.

There are many different philosophies of education, and each one has its own ideas about what education should be like. Some of these philosophies emphasize the importance of academic learning, while others prioritize social and emotional development. Still others focus on developing character strengths or preparing students for employment. The table below outlines some of the most common philosophies of education.

The Nature of Aims

It is not always easy to tell what someone’s aims are, especially when it comes to education. The aims of education are complex and contested, and there are a number of different stakeholders with different (and sometimes conflicting) aims. In general, though, we can say that the main aim of education is to help individuals develop into competent and responsible members of society.

There are a number of different ways in which this aim can be interpreted, but most philosophies of education share a few basic assumptions. First, that all human beings have certain inherent capacities and potentialities that can be developed through education. Second, that society has an interest in ensuring that all its members are developed to their fullest potential. And third, that the purpose of education is to help individuals actualize their potential so that they can lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Of course, there is much disagreement about what counts as “fulfilling” and “meaningful” lives, and this is where different philosophies of education diverge. For some philosophers (like John Dewey), the aim of education is primarily social: it is about preparing individuals to participate effectively in democracy. For others (like Immanuel Kant), the aim is more individualistic: it is about developing the capacity forreason so that individuals can make autonomous choices about how to live their lives.

There are also different views about how this aim should be achieved. Some philosophers (like Jean-Jacques Rousseau) emphasize the importance of natural development, while others (like Thomas Hobbes) think that formal instruction is necessary to develop the capacity for reason. And there are differing views about what sort of instruction is most effective: some think that it should be didactic (i.e., focused on imparting knowledge), while others think that it should be more participatory (i.e., focused on helping students learn how to think for themselves).

Ultimately, then, the question of what the aims of education are is a complex one, and there are no easy answers. Philosophers have been debating this question for centuries, and there is still no consensus about what the best way to educate people might be. This doesn’t mean, however, that we shouldn’t try to answer it; on the contrary, understanding what we hope to achieve through education is an important first step in trying to create effective educational institutions and practices

The Curriculum

The curriculum is the “unwritten” but planned set of learning experiences that a school offers its students during a specified period of time. The curriculum is designed by a team of educators who identify the outcomes or objectives that a child should achieve at the end of a unit or course.

The Nature of the Curriculum

The curriculum is far more than the content of what is taught in schools. It also includes the way in which it is taught and the experiences that pupils have inside and outside the classroom.

In many schools, the curriculum is designed to meet the needs of all pupils, regardless of their ability, interests or background. This is often referred to as an ‘inclusive curriculum’.

When designing the curriculum, teachers need to consider:
– The different learning needs of all pupils
– How best to engage and motivate pupils
– The positive contribution that every pupil can make
– How to ensure that learning is memorable and builds on what has been learned before
– The balance between experience and knowledge

The Purposes of the Curriculum

The curriculum is a set of learning experiences that schools offer to their students. It is important to remember that the curriculum is more than just the stated goals or objectives of a school, program, or course. The curriculum includes everything that takes place in classrooms and other places where learning occurs. The hidden curriculum includes all of the things that students learn through their experiences in school, even though these things may not be part of the stated goals or objectives.

There are many different purposes for the curriculum. Some of these purposes are explicit, while others are implicit. The explicit purposes of the curriculum are those that are stated by educators and policymakers. The implicit purposes of the curriculum are those that are not stated explicitly but can be understood by looking at the learning experiences that make up the curriculum.

The following are some of the more common explicit and implicit purposes of the curriculum:

-To provide students with necessary knowledge and skills
-To help students develop higher-order thinking skills
-To promote student autonomy and responsibility
-To prepare students for employment
-To socialize students into becoming productive citizens
-To promote student self-esteem and belongingness


The philosophy of education may be divided into three general areas:
– metaphysics,
– epistemology,
– axiology.

Metaphysics deals with the nature of reality. Epistemology is concerned with thenature and scope of knowledge. Axiology is the study of values.

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