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3.1 PHILOSOPHICAL FOUNDATIONS OF CURRICULUM

Philosophy means “love of wisdom.” It is made up of two Greek words, philo, meaning love, and sophos, meaning wisdom.

  • Philosophy is called pursuit of wisdom, the study of eternal truth, realities and general principles.
  • A search for the wisdom of life
  • An attempt to understand the universe as a whole
  • An examination of our moral responsibility and our social obligations
  • An effort to fathom the divine inventions and our place with reference to them
  • The way we perceive the world around us
  • How we define what is important to us
  • Personal views of the “good life” based on one’s own prior knowledge.
  • Philosophy is called mother of sciences, science of sciences- queen of subjects.
  • A system of completed and united knowledge (HerbertSpencer).
  • All man possesses by nature the desire to know. Everybody Makes the philosophic assumptions all the time.
  • Philosopher is an analyst.

Famous philosophers are Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, lock, Rousseau, Kant, Alfarabi, Ghazali, khaldoon, Iqbal.

Functions of Philosophy

  • To state the value.
  • To set the goals.
  • To point out the direction.
  • To lead human being to new path to attain the true status of self.

Educational Philosophy

Education is a supreme need of an individual to bring the desirable changes. Philosophy of education is the philosophical study of the purpose, process, nature and ideals of education Philosophy of education is a field of applied philosophy, drawing from the traditional fields of philosophy (ontology, ethics, epistemology etc.) and its approaches (speculative philosophy, prescriptive, and/or analytic) to address questions regarding education policy, human development, and curriculum theory.

Educational philosophy lays the strong foundation of curriculum. A curriculum planner or specialist, implementer teacher, school heads, evaluator anchors his/her decision making process on a sound philosophy.

  • The philosophy of education determines the aims and objectives of education.
  • Aim of education in Islam is to produce righteous person.
  • Ideas, attitudes, and beliefs about epistemology (nature of knowledge), society/culture, the individual, and learningThese foundational elements control the content andorganization of the curriculum.
  • Our views toward these factors make up our philosophy of education.

In curriculum, decision has to be made about the selection of topics, issues and activities. The topics, issues and activities have to be selected on certain basis. The basis, which helps in making selection of the topics, issues and activities, depends upon fundamental beliefs of the curriculum planner. His beliefs will naturally depend upon his philosophy of education. Thus philosophy is considered as one of the major foundations of curriculum.

If there was one philosophy of life, there would have been one philosophy of education and one and only one answer to each question But since there are different philosophies of life and philosophies of education so there are different answers to these questions.

There are several different philosophies of education, whic influence curriculum decisions. All of them have several components common even though they represent widely different ways of thinking Among these components are the following:

  • Beliefs about the nature of people, particularly the youn regarding their natural or inborn characteristics.
  • Beliefs about the source of truth and values that ought to guide living.
  • Beliefs about what constitutes a good and satisfying life.
  • Beliefs about what are important for people to learn.
  • Beliefs about the role of the school in society
  • Beliefs about the role of the teacher in the learning process.

The fact that there are several different philosophies of education means that there is wide disagreement about specific beliefs in each of the ix points just listed above.

The following four educational philosophies relate to curriculum:

  • Perennialism: The focus in the curriculum is classical subjects, literary analysis and considers curriculum as constant.
  • Essentialism: The essential skills of the 3 R’s and essential subjects of English, Science, History, Math and Foreign Language is the focus of the curriculum.
  • Progressivism: The curriculum is focused on students’interest, human problems and affairs. The subjects interdisciplinary, integrative and interactive.
  • Reconstructionism: The focus of the curriculum is on present and future trends and issues of national and international interests.

How does philosophy influence the curriculum?

Philosophy provides educators, teachers and curriculum makers with framework for planning, implementing and evaluating curriculum in school. It helps in answering what schools are for, what subjects are important, how students should learn and what materials and methods should be used. In decision-making, philosophy provides the starting point and will be used for the succeeding decision-making.

  • It gives meaning to the decisions and actions of curriculum workers.
  • The philosophy of the curriculum worker is reflected in his/her work.
  • Their life experiences, common sense, social and economic background, education, and general beliefs about people are brought into and reflected through their work.
  • The philosophy advocated or reflected by a particular school or business and its officials influences its goals and content as well as the organization of its curriculum.
  • “Philosophy is the beginning point in curriculum decision making and is the basis for all subsequent decisions regarding curriculum.”

It helps curriculum developers to answer questions such as:

  • What subjects are of value,
  • How students learn, and
  • What methods and materials to use?

It also provides them with a basis for dealing with precise tasks and for making such decisions as what workbooks, textbooks, or other cognitive and non-cognitive activities to utilize and how to utilize them. what homework to assign and how much of it, how to test students and how to use the test results, and what courses and subject matter to emphasize.

Philosophy helps teachers to reflect on key issues and concepts in education, usually through such questions as:

  • What is being educated?
  • What is the good life?
  • What is knowledge?
  • What is the nature of learning?
  • What is teaching?

Philosophers think about the meaning of things and interpretation of that meaning. Even simple statements, such as,

  • What should be learned?
  • Or what is adolescence?

Your educational philosophy is your beliefs about why, what and how you teach, whom you teach, and about the nature of learning. It is a set of principles that guides professional action through the events and issues teachers face daily.

Sources for your educational philosophy are your life experiences, your values, the environment in which you live, interactions with others. and awareness of philosophical approaches. Learning about the branches of philosophy, philosophical world views, and different educational philosophies and theories will help you to determine and shape your own educational philosophy, combined with these other aspects.

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