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the chemistry between philosophy and education

hathib kk
Posted: 2015-03-08

Philosophy in simple words can be defined as view or vision on life and related aspects like knowledge and values. But we never call an ordinary person a philosopher, though he shares his views on life. It's just as we do not call each and every person who writes something, a writer. We call a person a writer only when he writes in a divergent manner. Similarly we call a person a philosopher only when he puts forth some reflective thoughts on life as a result of his wise thinking. The term 'philosophy' is derived from two classical words-'philo' and 'sophia' which mean 'love' and 'wisdom' respectively. So etymologically the term philosophy means love of wisdom. Hence, when some wise men offer some reflective vision on life and related aspects, it becomes an accepted philosophy.However, the core function of philosophy is to define the ultimate truth in human life. Philosophy tells us what a meaningful life is. You can see thousands of definitions given for the term education by different scholars of East and West. The deep study of these definitions leads us to a conclusion that education is the process of modifying the behavior of an individual or group of individuals to enable him to lead a meaningful life in the social setup which he or they belong to. Philosophy tells us what meaningful life is while Education is the process by which we reach that meaningful life. So you can state that philosophy is the view of life, and education is the way of life. Education is known as the dynamic side of philosophy. Each and every aspect of an educational system in a particular social set up is determined and implemented on the basis of the philosophical doctrines followed by that social set up. The curriculum in an Idealist social set up always gives importance to traditional subjects while the curriculum in a Naturalist social set up gives preference to self learning materials. The teaching methods in an Idealist set up are the so called positive methods called lecture method, imitation method and question answer method. But, Naturalist argue that all such methods are outdated, and the methods like direct experience, learning by doing, and play and learn methods should be accepted in educational system. These differences are based on the difference in the approach of different schools of philosophy towards life and related aspects. Education can never be separated from philosophy because an educational system implemented without any philosophical background will be a failure in any sense. Philosophy helps an educational system keep a well planned and well designed strategy. An educational system without a well prepared strategy will have to waste time and energy.

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