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3.1.1 DETERMINANTS OF AN EDUCATIONAL PHILOSOPHY

Major philosophies of life and education have traditionally been defined by three criteria:

  • What is good?
  • ‘What is true?
  • ‘What is real?

Individual perceptions of goodness, truth, and reality differ considerably, and an analysis of these questions reveals unique patterns of response. ‘When such responses are categorized and labeled, they become formal philosophies.

In the language of philosophy;

  • The study of goodness is referred to as axiology,
  • Truth as epistemology, and
  • Reality as ontology ✓ Axiological questions deal primarily with values; in a school context, philosophical arguments are concerned with the ultimate source of values to be taught. ✓ Questions of an epistemological nature in a school context are directed toward the mediums of learning or the best means of seeking truth. ✓Ontological questions, in search of reality, are most often concerned with the substance of learning, or content of study.

Thus, the standard philosophic inquiries concerning goodness, truth, and reality are translated into questions concerning the source, medium, and form of learning in a school environment.

These queries are not simple, for there are many ways to select Meas, translate them into instructional patterns, and package them into Curriculum programs. Those possibilities are forever increasing as our knowledge of the world becomes more sophisticated.

Essential questions arise, questions that must be answered prior to planning learning experiences for students.

  • ‘Why do schools exist?
  • What should be taught?
  • What is the role of the teacher and the student?
  • How does the school deal with change?

A number of primary questions override the value choices of all major educational philosophies: What is the purpose of education? What kind of citizens and what kind of society do we want? What methods of instruction or classroom organization must we provide to produce these desired ends?

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