From the very beginning man has been continuously trying to know and understand the mystery of the Universe around him. He is trying to know the relationship with the physical world on one side and social world on the other. It requires keen observation, critical study and deep thinking. It is philosophy, which has been very useful and helpful to know the nature of man, his origin and relationship with nature, his aspirations and the tool he uses to achieve his aims.

Life and philosophy are so closely related that it is said that if there is life, there

would be some philosophy of it also. The function of philosophy is to refine the interests of an individual. With this, it studies the views of the people. The differences in the views of people are quite natural. So many persons have expressed their philosophical views.

Philosophy is wisdom, means knowledge. Knowledge is related to education. Philosophy directs so many things in life. Like wise it directs the education also. It is

philosophy which co-ordinates the activities of the individual, including education, which depends on philosophy.


Meaning of Philosophy


The word Philosophy is derived from two Greek words - ‘philos means love and

‘sophia’ means wisdom. So the philosophy means ‘love of wisdom’ or ‘love of truth’. Philosophy deals with the general problems of life. Traditionally, philosophy refers to a set of opinions, customs, beliefs and ideas about the nature of reality, truth and values. According to westerners, philosophy is a method of analysis, clarification and criticisms.

Philosophy deals with the questions of reality, knowledge and value. It is theoretical and practical. It is related to theoretical questions like - what is life? What is value? Where did man come from? Where does he go? and other practical questions like

‘What kind of life is worth living’?


The concept of philosophy.

       1.  Philosophy is a personal attitude towards life and the universe.

       2.  Philosophy is a method of reflective thinking and reasoned enquiry.

       3.  Philosophy is an attempt to gain a view of the whole.

       4.  Philosophy is the logical analysis of language and the clarification of the meaning of words and concepts.

5.  Philosophy is a group of problems as well as theories about the solution of these problems.

6.  Philosophy is related to educational theories and provides suitable solutions to educational problems.

7.  By providing some guidelines it directs education.

8.  Philosophy provides us answers and gives directions to the educational ideas, beliefs and problems.

9.  For the analysis of educational principles, philosophy is helpful and essential.

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan says, ‘It is a logical inquiry into the nature of reality’.

 Relationship between Philosophy and Education


Philosophy and education are closely related. They are interdependent. Philosophy gives suitable answers to educational problems. A sound philosophy of education is based on adequate philosophy of life”. In fact, philosophy is the groundwork or foundation out of which come the objectives of education. Philosophy and education walk hand in hand. In this relationship, philosophy and education are re-constructive, they give to and take from each other in the ebb and flow of thought and action, they are means to one another and ends, and are process and product also.

Philosophy points out the way, to be followed by education. For example, while

modifying the childs behavior, the philosophy solves the questions like in which direction modification should be carried out? What should be the standards and values, to strive for? Philosophy thus deals with the ends and education with the means to achieve those ends. Education is like laboratory in which philosophic theories and speculations are tested and made concrete. Philosophy is wisdom education transmits that wisdom from one generation to the other. In reality, philosophy is the theory of education.

Philosophy formulates the method, education its process. Philosophy gives ideals, values and principles. Education works out these ideals, values and principles.

Education is the best means for the propagation of philosophy. Ross has summed

up this point, “philosophy and education are two sides of the coin, and the former is the contemplative, while the latter is the active side”. Education then as Adam has put it, “is the dynamic side of philosophy”. Philosophy sets the goal of life; education provides the means for its achievement.

All great philosophers of the world have also been great educators. The great philosophers like Plato, Dewey, Socrates, Gandhiji etc., are also great educationists. They reflected their philosophical views in their educational schemes.

Philosophy determines all the broad aspects of education. It is philosophy that

provides aims to education. These aims determine the curriculum, the methods of teaching and techniques, the textbooks, the problems of school organization, concept of school discipline and also role of the teacher. In the different schools of philosophy, such as idealism, naturalism and pragmatism, the aims, curriculum, method, discipline etc., are varied. Philosophy is theoretical and education is practical and thus philosophy is closely related to education. Thus, as long as we need aims of education, philosophy will continue influencing and determining both the matter and the method of education.

Impact of Philosophy on Education


a) Philosophy and Aims of Education:


The aims of education are related to the aims of life and the aims of life are creations of the philosophy of certain time. Hence the aims of education are determined according to the aims and philosophy of life. Education tries to achieve aims of the life as goals of education and these aims of the life are determined by the philosophy of life prevalent at the time. Different philosophers, based on their own thinking, considering the demands of the society of their times have formulated different aims of life and education has always tried to achieve those aims as different goals of education. Thus as aims of life


change, aims of education also change accordingly. Every educational aim is an expression of a philosophy of life. It is philosophy, which determines whether the aim of education should be intellectual or moral, useful or liberal, individual or social. Such things are resolved by philosophy.


b) Philosophy and Curriculum:


Philosophy is one of the three foundations of curriculum, the other two being psychology and sociology. Philosophy determines the aims and objectives of education, so also it determines the shape of the curriculum. Philosophy mainly influences the choice of subjects to be included in the curriculum, It tells us why a particular subject should be taught and what benefits accrue from it. The philosophy of a country at a particular time determines the curriculum in which such subjects, activities and experiences are included which are supposed to meet the emerging demands of the society at a particular time.

c) Philosophy and Methods of Teaching:


Philosophy is closely related to the methods of teaching. Changing philosophies change the methods of teaching. Hence, different schools of philosophy prescribe different methods of teaching. According to Prof. Saxena, “philosophy is the way of thinking and way of working. As such these two factors determine the nature, style and actual operation of methods of teaching”. The naturalists want education to be child centered and expect the teacher to use such methods, which enable him to recognize the innate capacities of children. They support Dalton plan, Heuristic, Montessori method etc., The children must have free atmosphere to grow. Some philosophers stand for non-intervention by the teacher. The children should have complete freedom and a good environment for their development to the fullest extent. The Pragmatist advocates Project method as more practical and experimental. The idealists advocate question- answer, discussion and lecture method, which ensure the total development of childs personality. Since different philosophies advocate different methods of teaching, it proves clearly that philosophy and methods of teaching are closely related.


d) Philosophy and Role of the Teacher:


Philosophy has a great influence on the teacher both in the area of thinking and behaving. A teacher is not a teacher alone, but he is a philosopher also. The teacher

must have the knowledge, light and the reason for progress and for search of the truth. All this he can have only if he has an insight into philosophy. According to Plato, “A philosopher is one who has a taste for every sort of knowledge, one who is curious to learn and is never satisfied”.


The teacher is expected to influence the children with his philosophy. He should be conscious about needs of children and the society. He should work properly to meet these needs. The teachers outlook, belief, ideology and conduct will have a profound influence on the development of children. Hence, he should possess proper moral and spiritual values.

Philosophy helps the teacher to maintain, a proper balance between the formal and the informal, the intentional and the incidental mode of education’.

1 Idealism:


Idealism is born out of Platos “Theory of Ideas”. According to this doctrine, the ultimate supremacy is of ideas. Idealism recognizes the ideas, feelings and ideals more important than mental objects, i.e. the mental or material one. According to Idealism, mind is real and material world is unreal.

Reality is found in mans mind rather than in his physical environment. The world of experience is more significant than material universe. To the idealist ‘Mind and Soulare more important than the ‘Matter and the Body’. Idealists consider the development of human personality as the supreme objective of life.

Plato, Pestalozzi and Froebel introduced the Idealism in education. They advocated its importance in education and laid more emphasis on aims and principles of education than on other aspects.


Idealism and Aims of Education:


1.  Self-realization or Exaltation of personality - It implies the realization of the highest potentialities of the self in a social and cultural environment.


2.  To ensure spiritual development-Education is to develop the child mentally, morally and above all spiritually.


3.  To cultivate Truth, Beauty and Goodness -Helps to develop spiritual values.


4.  Conservation, Promotion and Transmission of cultural heritage - Education is to acquaint the child with the cultural heritage so that he conserves, promotes and transmits it to the rising generation.

5.  Conservation of inborn Nature into Spiritual Nature - Helps to sublimate the inborn raw instincts of the child into spiritual qualities.


6.  Preparation for holy life -Education should create suitable condition and provide an environment, which is helpful for the development of spiritual values in a child.


7.  Education is to help man and to direct his efforts towards the attainment of rationality in the universe and in his own person.



Idealism and Curriculum:


Idealists give more importance to thoughts, feelings, ideals and values than to the child and his activities. They firmly hold that curriculum should be concerned with the whole humanity and its experience to the study of humanities, culture, art, morality, history, philosophy, literature and religion. The Sciences explain the physical environment. Therefore, the human aspects of Sciences also must be taught. They have given importance for physical education also. The study of Hygiene and Physiology and practice of Physical skills, Gymnastics and Athletics must form an integral part of the school curriculum. Today, they emphasize to teach the significant knowledge which is of permanent value.



Idealism and Method of Teaching:


Questioning, discussion and lecturing are very important methods of teaching. Brut the creative projects are very effective in educating the child in Idealism. The emphasis should be on the spontaneous activity of the pupils. Their ‘creative mental activity’ should be developed. Froebel insisted play-way method. Aristotle advocated Inductive- Deductive method. Idealists are of the opinion that, any and every method may be employed to realize the ideals set and determined before. Idealists advocated the use of textbooks as a source of knowledge.

Idealism and Role of the Teacher:

The place of teacher in Idealism is very high. According to the idealists, proper manipulation of the teaching process is impossible without the teacher. An Idealist teacher is imbibed fully with high degree of self-knowledge, self-dynamism and qualities of spiritualism. The teachers life should be model to the child and he tries to shape the individuality of the child to a life of purity, virtue and great achievements. The student

is influenced by the teachers personality. He guides and directs the child with love, affection and sympathy. He provides a conducive atmosphere and plans experiences for the child. So, for Idealists teacher is a guide and philosopher.


2    Naturalism:


Rousseau is known to be the founder of Naturalism. Naturalism is concerned with ‘natural self or ‘real self. For naturalists the material world is the real world. This, material world is being governed by certain laws. Naturalism is also termed as materialism. For them nature is everything and behind everything there is nature. Hence, man should investigate the truths of nature through Science. Naturalists do not believe in spiritual development. To them matter is important, which is the ultimate reality and ultimate truth.

Naturalism has mainly three forms - i) Naturalism of physical sciences tries to explain the experiences in light of natural laws, which are external in nature. ii) Mechanicalism, another form of naturalism, regards man as a mere machine. iii) Biological naturalism, which tries to explain man as a product of evolution and as the highest creature who inherits the racial past consisting of natural instincts and emotions. Aristotle, Comte, Bacon, Hobbes, Huxley, Spencer and Kilpatrick are the supporters of naturalism.

Naturalism and Aims of Education:

1.  Self expressionis the aim of education under the naturalistic school of philosophy.


2.  The mechanist considers the man as a machine, they lay down that the aim of education is “to make the human machine as efficient as possible by attending to construction, by elaborating it and making it capable of more and more complicated tasks”.


3.  Biological naturalism advocates that the attainment of happiness of man is the aim of education.


4.  The aim of education should be the re-direction and co-ordination of instincts of man to achieve those goals which “have individual and social value”.


5.  According to evolutionists, the aim of education should be “to equip the individual for struggle for existence and thus to ensure his survival”.

6.  Other naturalists advocate that education should enable the individual to adjust himself to the environment.


7.  Some naturalists believe that, education should conserve and preserve cultural heritage and develop it further.


8.  Rousseau advocated natural development of the child according to his inborn qualities and capacities in a free environment.


9.  According to T.P. Nunn, the aim of education should be to develop a self- developed and self-realized individuality.

Naturalism and Curriculum:

According to naturalists, curriculum should consist of subjects, which reflect the inborn tendencies, natural interests, natural activities, individual differences and sex problems of children so that they develop their individuality naturally and normally. Curriculum contains games, sports, physical culture, biology, physics, nature study, language, history, geography and other allied subjects.

The childs activities and natural interests get priority in the curriculum. The curriculum should facilitate the manifestation of natural power of the child. Naturalists believe that only a little knowledge of mathematics and language is enough. The naturalists, in general, contend that the childs present experiences, interests and activities should determine the choice of studies.

Naturalism and Methods of Teaching:


Direct experience with nature, things and men is the keynote of instructions according to naturalists.. All knowledge must emerge out of actual situation and experience. Proper method of importing knowledge is through observation and experimentation. Naturalists stressed Learning by doing, Learning by experience and Learning by Play as the bases of teaching.

Naturalists advocated child centered methods like activity method, Play-way method, Project method and Heuristic method. All these methods are self-learning methods and are very effective and purposeful. The Scout movements, School union, School journey, Childrens club etc., are the schemes of naturalism.


Naturalism and the Role of the Teacher:


The teacher has a peculiar place and duty to perform in naturalism. Neither is he to interfere with the activities of children, nor is he to provide any ideals. He must not

impose himself on them. He has to provide them suitable opportunities to create conditions, which are conducive to natural development.

For naturalists, nature is the only supreme teacher, in its close contact the child develops normally and naturally. The place of the child is more important and central than, the teacher. The teacher should so sympathetically and affectionately behave towards the child, that he feels full freedom to develop himself according to his natural qualities, interests and capacities. The teacher should set the stage and allow the child to act freely according to his inherent capacities and the teacher is to act as an observer and guide.


3  Pragmatism:


The term Pragmatism is derived from the same Greek word meaning action. According to Prof. Arnaud Reid, pragmatism makes “activity, engagement, commitment and encounter its central theme. Pragmatists emphasized the action rather than thought.

Thought is subordinated to action. It is made an instrument to find suitable means for action. That is why pragmatism is also called Instrumentalism. Pragmatism also locates, identifies or traces values in the human experience. Therefore it is called humanism. Since, pragmatism advocates the experimental methods of science, it is also called Experimentalism, thus stressing the “practical significance of thought”.

This philosophy was originated from America. William James, John Dewey, Schiller and Kilpatrik are the chief exponents of this philosophy. Pragmatism is human-centric according to which, mans own experiences are the centers of reality and truth.

Pragmatism and Aims of Education:


Pragmatism does not believe in predetermined aims of education. It emphasizes that the aims of human life always change with changing times, places and circumstances.


1. In the words of Ross, education must create “new values and the main task of educator is to put the educand into a position to develop values for himself”.


2. The aim of education is to direct “the impulses, interest and abilities towards the satisfaction of the felt want of the child in his environment”.


3. Pragmatists believe that man is primarily a biological and social organism, the aim of education should be to transmit the social background and outlook of the community to the rising generation.


4. Pragmatism wants to cultivate a “dynamic and adaptable mind, which should be

resourceful and enterprising in all such situations, a mind which should have power to create values in an unknown future”.

Pragmatism and Curriculum:


Pragmatism gives us several criteria for curriculum construction.

Utility forms the first criterion. The school must provide experience that are useful to the child, hence the curriculum should include subjects that will impart knowledge, hygiene, physical training, history and geography, mathematics, science - domestic science for girls and agricultural science for boys, should be included in the curriculum.

Secondly, the curriculum should be based on the childs natural interest. At the primary stage, the curriculum should include Reading, Writing, Counting, Art, Handwork and Drawing.

Thirdly, the curriculum is based on the principle of the childs occupations, activities and experiences. Hence, the curriculum should consist of activities, which are socialized, free and purposive.

Lastly, the principle of integration deals with the integration of subjects and activities. So, the subjects should be closely inter-linked and correlated to form right concepts and proper understandings in children.

Pragmatism and Methods of Teaching:


Based on some principles, pragmatists devised and formulated the methods of teaching. The first principle of the pragmatic method is to establish a relation with the life of the child, his desires and purposes, his interests and inclinations. The second principle of pragmatism in educational method is “learning by doingor “learning through ones experience”. According to Ryburn, experience is the truest and the best master, whose lessons we never forget. The third principle of the pragmatic method is integration of the learning process. The method should be such that it integrates and correlates the different subjects and activities.

Kilpatrick, follower of John Dewey formulated a solid and practical method of teaching, i.e. “Project method”. A project is a whole hearted, purposeful activity, proceeding in a social environment”. This method is active and dynamic in nature, in which the child learns by his own activities and experiences.


Pragmatism and Role of the Teacher:


The most important responsibility of a teacher is to guide the young children through complexities of life. Teacher has to observe, plan and encourage the activities of the students and provide suitable environment and experiences. He is a friend, a philosopher and a guide. The teacher should also create such situations that all children are able to develop social interests, attitudes and habits for the welfare of the society.

4. Realism

Realism is derived from the Greek word “res” which further is related to the object. Realism is an outlook on the existence of an object according to which the objects of the word are real. “Realism is the reinforcement of our common acceptance of this world as it appears to us”

Realism is a philosophical theory that posits that reality exists independently of human consciousness. Realists believe the physical world is objective and can be studied and understood through empirical observation and scientific inquiry. Realism has its roots in ancient Greek philosophy, with Aristotle being one of the most famous proponents of the theory.

Aims of Education.

           In realism, it prepares the child for a happy and successful life. It acquaints the child with nature and social environment. It develops the physical and mental powers of the child. It develops and trains the senses of the child. It prepares the child for real life.  It provides the understanding of the material world through inquiry. It   is a study of science and the scientific method. It transmits culture and develop human nature and there is a need to know the world in order to ensure survival and good life.

Realism and   Curriculum. 

It was developed according to utility   and needs. It contains subjects concerning day to day activities. The main subjects   are natural science, physical science, health culture, physical exercise, math, geography, history and astronomy

Realism and the Teacher.

In realism, a teacher should be supreme. He brings the child in touch with external   realities of   life.  Imparts scientific   knowledge in   an easy   and effective way. A teacher should be educated and well versed with the customs of belief and rights of people and the trends. He needs to find out the interest of the child and to teach accordingly. He should teach subjects in proper order. He must be able to expose and guide the learners towards the hard realities of life


Methods of Teaching.

Observation is very important aspect in the teaching-learning process. The emphasis   on   critical   reasoning   is   through   observation.   Responsibilities   and accountabilities were given emphasis and it promotes performance-based teaching. Scientific research and development is one of the priorities in realism. Education should proceed from simple to complex and from concrete to abstract. Specifically, activities that enhance learning thru direct or indirect   experiences such   as   field trips, lectures, films, TV, audio-visual aids and library were encouraged. Vernacular is of great importance and it should be the medium of   instruction.   Since it   is   performance-based, hence, children   should be given   positive rewards


Realism -  Educational Implications.

  It  focuses  on   the   basics  of  reading,   writing   and arithmetic. Classroom environment is highly structured and organized. It utilizes the standardized testing. Education should be fun and interesting for the student and education should prepare students for life in the real world. Realism represents the reality of the world. It has truth that is aligned to the knowledge acquired. Truth can be acquired by the use  of sensation. In  our lives, it is our nature to be good and be bad. In realism, it teaches reality doctrine, the subjects of physical world such as  Math, Science and Social Studies. Realism exist in schools to reveal the order of the world and universe. Teachers  imparts knowledge form basic to  complex.   Child   is well-mannered and well-informed. In realism,  the human  mind  represents   the  external  world  but   does  not  duplicate  it.  I exist, you exist but some do not know that I exist or he exist. She is special to me but he is not special.  We  have  different views  in  life  according  to our  experience.  In teaching,  we aimed for our children to have a good life and accept the realities in life


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