Topic Detail
Basic philosophy of Education

According to Jhon Dewy: Philosophy of education is a broader theory of education, there are four basic philosophies of education:

  1. Naturalism
  2. Idealism
  3. Realism
  4. Pragmatism

These philosophies are briefly discussed as follows:    

 A) Idealism

1. Basic Philosophy: “Mind is prior to matter”, objects cause sensation and mind gives meaning to them.

Supporters: Plato, Descartes, Spinoza and Hegel are the main supporters of idealism.

2. Aims and Objectives

The aim and objectives of education are:

  1. Intellectual development
  2. Self-realization
  3. Development of certain values i.e. intellectual, moral and aesthetic. (refinement of moral character)

 Plato: To develop four cardinal virtues i.e. courage, wisdom, self-control and justice.

3. The Educative Process (Teacher & Pupil)

The educative process is the

a) The Teacher (Qualities of Teachers)

  1. Personification of reality
  2. A pastel of progress
  3. Provide perfection
  4. Maker of democracy
  5. Not demand, but commend respect
  6. Possess professional excellences and mastery of subject matter
  7. Evoke enthusiasm and interest in learning
  8. Be a guide
  9. Understand students
  10. Be a friend of all students

b) The Pupil

  1. A complete self (he has got mind, ideas and potentialities)
  2. Qualities of integrity, sincerity and justice should be developed
  3. Personality of pupil is formed by environment, education and his own will
  4. At birth, he is neither good nor bad, it is a matter of training and education that he learns and differentiate between good and evil.
  5. Individual is free by nature, human self (mind) is superior and is capable of changing his physical surrounding.

4. Curriculum

a) The Universe Division

  1. Study of inanimate forces of nature
  2. Origin of life
  3. The solar system

b) The Civilization Division

  1. Study of social services
  2. All institution of human life (related to activities of life, food, clothing and shelter).

c) The Culture Division

Study philosophy, art, literature, religion and environment. 

d) The Personality Division

Subjects related to the development of human personality

5. Methods of Teaching

  1. Questioning and discussion
  2. Lecture method (it is useful for gaining objective information place for questions should be always there)
  3. Project method

 6. Education as a Social Institution

Education is essential for social life.

  1. School is the mind of the society (differentiate between right and wrong)
  2. School is the agent of the society (awareness of rights and duties)
  3. School is a value realizing institution (desirable values to be promoted)


B) Realism

1. Basic Philosophy: Matter is prior to mind object exist independently of the mind.

Supporters: Aristotle, Broudy, Herbert and Lock.

2. Aims and Objectives

  1. Character building
  2. Good life (moderation and balanced in life)

    It is informed on the basis of the following principles

  • Principles of apatite
  • Principles of self-determination
  • Principles of self-realism
  • Principles of self-integration
  • Principles of good character

3. The Educative Process (Teacher & Pupil)

a) The Teacher (Functions of Teachers)

  1. Helps students lead a balanced life
  2. To develop potentialities
  3. To promote moral, social and religious values
  4. To give vast of factual knowledge
  5. Helps students to exercise self-control.

b) The Pupil

Personality is formed by three principles:

  1. Self-determination (basic duties)
  2. Self-realization (qualities of character) to fulfill of one’s potentials
  3. Self-integration (to make contributions towards life or in this world) to integrate one’s self with the community and world. To make contributions through religion or through social services.

4. Curriculum

  1. Courses in natural sciences physics, chemistry and biology etc.
  2. Courses in social sciences psychology, philosophy, literature, religion etc.
  3. Courses on vocation or vocational courses

It will include learning of skills

5. Methods of Teaching

  1. Problem solving and experimental methods are emphasized
  2. Importance is given to discussion activity and audio-visual approach
  3. Motivation and interest will be essential parts of teaching

6. Education as a Social Institution

Education is essential for social life.

  1. It is the duty of the state to provide / give education to all
  2. It is a basic need and basic right
  3. Formal education is essential and it should aimed at character building


C) Pragmatism

1. Basic Philosophy: All ideas will be accepted as true as long as they are useful in improving human life and human experiences are more important. Pragmatism philosophy shifted from metaphysical problems to the problems of social life.

Supporters: Charlie’s Peirce, William James & Jhon Dewy 

2. Aims and Objectives

Social efficiency is the aim of education that requires:

  1. Development of Potentialities: The talent and abilities of every individual should be developed (Personal development).
  2. Preparation for Social Life: Education should provide training for better social life (Human relation).
  3. Earn a Livelihood: Education should be useful for the individuals economically (skills and professional knowledge or social services).

3. The Educative Process (Teacher & Pupil)

Pupils have a central place in teaching learning process (student centered education).

a) The Teacher (Functions of Teachers)

  1. To act as a guide and leader, not to act as a disciplinarian or authoritarian.
  2. To develop the potentialities of the students
  3. To help students learn intelligently / skillfully
  4. Teacher will be full of ideas and will plan the activities of the students
  5. Teacher will be specially trained in the study of child and adolescent development (child psychology, guidance and methods of teaching)
  6. Teacher will not give direct instruction, but help them in a state of difficulty
  7. Freedom will be given to the students to move about in the class (interest and needs of students are important).

b) The Pupil (Learning by doing & activities)

  1. The child will not be passive receivers of knowledge but will be active participant in learning (Teaching learning process be activity based)
  2. They have minds, ideas and ability to share in the learning experience (activities)
  3. Their initiative and interest will be of a paramount importance
  4. They will not memorize things but will do create something
  5. They will be encouraged to learn by performing experiments (projects)
  6. Sufficient learning materials will be available so that to learn by doing something

4. Curriculum

  1. Activity based curriculum (learning by doing will be observed, the subjects of study will be converted into activities).
  2. For language learning (dialogue, storytelling, writing, inventions etc. will be used)
  3. Mathematics to be learn (by selling, buying and keeping accounts etc)
  4. Geography to be learnt (by map, globe, visit to places and studying rocks and rivers)
  5. Science to be taught (by experiments in laboratories)
  6. Useful activities suggested (spinning, wearing, cooking, modeling, gardening, shop ware, carpentry, dramatics, sewing, discussion and conversation)
  7. More importance will be given to occupations activities (the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter will be met by cooking, sewing & carpentry etc.)  
  8. The curriculum will satisfy four basic human impulses (social, artistic, constructive, investigative)
  9. There will be activity rooms / laboratories in schools

5. Methods of Teaching

The methods of teaching include:

  1. Scientific experimental methods should be used (problem solving and project method)
  2. Activity and practical work will be emphasized (activity based curriculum & contents)

6. Education / school as a Social Institution

School is entirely a preparation for social life. 

  1. As biological life maintains and transmits itself by nutrition and reproduction. So, social life transmits itself by education.
  2. School is a miniature workshop where individuals are prepared for social life.
  3. To prepare individual for social efficiency (to be a good citizen)


D) Naturalism

The naturalism is a philosophy that is based on natural development of a child.

“Return the nature is base for aims and objectives, the education process, curriculum, methods of teaching, discipline and education as a social institution”.