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PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION

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PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION Introduction The broad knowledge of philosophy can be synthesized in to distinct systems of thought. Njoroge and Bennars (1986:20) puts it ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION


1
PHILOSOPHIES OF EDUCATION
  • Introduction
  • The broad knowledge of philosophy can be
    synthesized in to distinct systems of thought.
  • Njoroge and Bennars (198620) puts it that when
    philosophy used in plural form it refers to
    system of thought presented in a unified,
    systematic manner and can be divided into
    different types.
  • These systems of thought can enable us to
    distinguish one from another and have a
    comprehensive understanding of philosophy.

2
  • In terms of history these systems can be
    categorized in to four groups as seen by Moore
    and Bruder (199012)
  • Categorization to time
  • Ancient /traditional philosophies (Idealism
    Realism)
  • Medieval (Neo-platonic, Christian )
  • Modern Philosophies (Pragmatism Existentialism)
  • Contemporary Philosophies (Analytic philosophy,
    Phenomenology

3
Ancient Philosophies (Idealism and Realism)
  • These philosophies emerged between 6th century
    BC and 3rd century AD
  • We study them in order to acquire some tools of
    analysis and expand our ideas in education.
  • They provide a framework of theories applicable
    in education.

4
Idealism
  • Popkin Stroll (1981120) write that it is a
    theory that holds that the most important element
    in the nature of reality is mind or spirit.
  • So this means that physical or material world is
    less important in understanding reality.
  • Njoroge and Bennaars (1987) the system that
    holds that reality is an expression of mind.
  • In this case knowledge or understanding is based
    on the recognition and remembrance of latent or
    inborn ideas already present in the mind.

5
  • The entire universe or any physical object exists
    in and depends on the mind. Without being
    perceived by the mind no object can be known.
  • Physical objects are not ultimately real. They
    are just manifestations of what is perceived in
    the mind.
  • Ultimate reality is spiritual in nature rather
    than physical, mental rather than material.
    Everything exists in the form of ideas.

6
  • Popkin Stroll (1981) basing on the ideas of
    Berkeley (1685-1753) put it that physical objects
    are families of sense experience. If experiences
    can not exist un-experienced so physical object
    can not exist un-experienced.
  • We can only prove and verify the existence of
    physical objects through experience. If not
    experienced what is the basis of saying it exists
    or has existed.

7
  • Berkeley (read Halverson1981pp88-95 Moore
    Bruder 1990 pp84-90) the strongest exponent of
    idealism who believes that there are no material
    things or physical world that exists
    independently of mind. They are only collection
    of ideas in infinite minds. They are sensations
    and perceptions of a thinking being.
  • Our minds have ability to form patterns of the
    things we perceive

8
  • Plato (427-347 B.C) mans reality is soul. Man
    is a spiritual being. The child is part of
    spiritual universe, has spiritual destiny to
    fulfill.
  • Everything that exists derives its shape and
    meaning from its form-that can only be grasped
    intellectually. Examples of form are ideas of
    things like book, trees, justice, freedom or
    beauty. We do not see the stone but the idea of a
    stone or freedom or idea of justice.

9
  • For Idealists, there are two realms, the world of
    appearance perceived by the senses and the world
    of reality perceived by the intellect or mind.
  • The physical world is a mere shadow. It can only
    be understood by referring it to the mind.
  • The spiritual part of man is more important
    than the physical part. Other creatures depend
    on human mind for order and purpose.

10
Idealism and education
  • The philosophy emphasizes the relationship
    between the child/learner and the spiritual
    elements (attitude, values, intellect and
    characters). So, the aim of education is to
  • Develop or to mould these elements.
  • Develop innate abilities and characteristics to
    the highest potential.
  • Develop the childs ability to communicate, read,
    count and draw

11
  • Develop human ideas, intellect and virtue
    emphasis on liberal education general education
    for the overall development of the childs mind,
    intellectual capacity critical thinking and
    imagination power of reasoning, analysis,
    creativity and organization of ideas reflection,
    recall and dealing with concepts.
  • A teacher is considered as
  • A highly knowledgeable person in content, a
    master of skills and a supervisor of learners
    values and discipline

12
  • A model of quality behaviour, high intellectual
    ability, virtuous,
  • Authoritarian as his role to impart knowledge
  • A leader, motivator and inspirational person,
    knowledgeable of students needs.
  • Method of teaching is expository lectures and
    discussions organized, monitored and supervised
    by the teacher.

13
  • The teacher a dispenser of knowledge, students
    are receivers
  • Teaching approach teacher-centred classroom
    interaction dominated by the teacher explaining,
    giving examples and instructing.
  • Curriculum must be well organized, content
    carefully structured.
  • Subjects humanities history, literature
    language, math and arts, subjects that develop
    reasoning capability

14
Realism
  • Rooted in the ideas of Aristotle (384-322), a
    disciple of Plato (427-347)
  • It is a contrasting view of idealism which holds
    that the physical world has separate existence
    independent of the mind.
  • Hospers (1967494) contends that realism is the
    belief that the physical world exists whether we
    perceive it or not and that we can know various
    things about that.

15
  • Experience on something is not a condition to
    make it exist. Everything can be known by its
    qualities whether we are aware of it or not.
  • Its existence is separate from consciousness,
    mind or awareness.
  • Religious realists believe that everything that
    is divinely created must be real although spirit
    is more important.
  • Kneller (1971) writes that the basic principle of
    realists is that matter is the ultimate reality

16
  • Basic assumptions of realism according to Hospers
    (1967494)
  • There exists a world of physical objects chairs,
    trees, hills or buildings.
  • Statements or qualities about these objects can
    be known to be true through sense experience.
  • These objects exist when they are perceived or
    not. They are independent of our perception
    (thinking, consciousness or awareness)

17
  1. By means of our senses, we perceive the physical
    world as it is and our knowledge we claim about
    it can be justified.
  2. The sense impressions we have about physical
    things are caused by physical things themselves.
    The experience of the book is caused by the book
    itself not by the qualities we have in our mind
    of the things to be perceived

18
Main points
  • There is a separate material world.
  • The general principles or laws of the natural
    world can be discovered through empirical methods
    (observation, experimentation and by observing
    specific events or objects qualities and
    properties and generalize them)
  • The physical world and its content are in a
    particular order and it can be known through our
    senses. It has its laws, relationships and
    particular pattern of operation

19
  • Acquisition of knowledge depends on the
    interaction between our mind and material
    objects. We can claim that something is true only
    when we observe and discover it.
  • The values that guide and control our behavior
    are formed by our experiences with the natural
    world.
  • Without experience, we can not form our moral
    laws and values because we can not know what
    suits, fits or harmonizes our living and our
    interrelationship. We can only judge our moral
    values through practical experiences.

20
  • As realists believe in natural order, it is only
    through discovery of the natural order that we
    can be able to discover ethical and moral values
    through observation and experience. So, ethical
    and aesthetic values are stable, orderly and
    rooted in nature.
  • Aristotle (classical realist)
  • The most reliable source of knowledge is sense
    experience. Reasoning is important for
    understanding the essence of things. Reasoning
    can enable us to check the truth of observation
    and experience.

21
John Locke (1632-1704) a critical/scientific
realist
  • Man is born tabula rasa (empty slate). He is not
    born with knowledge of anything.
  • The only way we can acquire knowledge is through
    experience. There is no innate or natural
    ability. Knowledge only comes through senses
  • True knowledge is learned. We understand our
    world through studying our surroundings

22
Realism in education
  • The goal of education to enable the learner to
    understand laws of nature. Learners should be
    left to explore the world through their senses.
  • Methods emphasize on practice and engagement in
    discovery.
  • Those that permit students to use their senses
    observation, manipulation and using of real
    objects, experimentation and verification of
    the natural environment in order to understand it.

23
  • Inductive approach learning the specifics
    characteristics of objects or particular facts
    and coming out with general principles.
  • Role of the teacher provide opportunities for
    students to conduct their own discoveries
    through active interaction with their
    environment.

24
  • The teacher is expected to have high knowledge of
    natural laws and principles of the subject
    mastery of scientific knowledge, ability to
    verify knowledge through scientific procedures.
  • Teachers mastery of knowledge is useful for
    organizing learners activities and discoveries.
  • Teaching must focus on the subject matter mainly
    science subjects so as to understand the nature
    and orderliness of the universe

25
  • Emphasis on common values in school, based on
    natural laws. Harmonizing school rules and
    regulations with laws of nature.
  • Every teacher and student must adhere with
    certain conventions as these conventions are
    derived from nature and are collectively applied
  • Teacher is the supervisor of school conventions,
    rules and regulations.

26
  • Subjects science (physics, chemistry and
    biology) mathematics and geography.
  • Social science subjects should be taught to
    develop learners rational powers and their
    understanding of the natural world and natural
    principles.
  • Realists prefer separate subjects rather than
    integration but must be well organized.
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