Meaning, Definitions, Nature and Scope of Philosophy of Education

The Latin word 'Educatum' means to train. 'E' means from inside the 'Duco' means to draw out, to lead, to bring up. To combine the two we come to mean

Meaning of Education

The word Education' is derived from the Latin word as under:

  1. Educatum: To train, Act of teaching or training
  2. Educere: To lead out, To draw out
  3. Educare: To bring up, To raise, To educate
Meaning, Definitions, Nature and Scope of Philosophy of Education

The Latin word 'Educatum' means to train. 'E' means from inside the 'Duco' means to draw out, to lead, to bring up. To combine the two we come to mean as to draw from within. Developing this concept further we come to mean that education is a process which draws from within.

Narrower Meaning of Education

In the narrow sense, education means that education which is provided to the child by the teacher in the boundary wall of the school according to the pre-determined syllabus. This education is confined to the boundary wall of the school and is acquired only for a few years of life. In this the curriculum is predetermined, methods of teaching are fixed, there is abundance of books and the place of teacher is prominent. J. S. Mackenzie, while clarifying the narrow meaning of education, has said, "Education in the narrow sense is taken to mean conscious efforts for the development and advancement of our powers."

Wider meaning of Education

In the broad sense, education refers to the education that a child receives throughout his life from his parents, siblings, friends, teachers, neighbors and other people in the society. This education is not limited to the boundary wall of the school, but it is received everywhere in the family, school, shop, office, playground, park, cinema hall etc. There is no pre-determined curriculum, no fixed teaching methods and no place for books. J. S. Mackenzie, while explaining the broad meaning of education, has said, “Education in the broad sense is a process which goes on throughout life and is increased by every experience of life.”

From the above discussion, it is clear that education is a process of development. To understand its nature and rate of progress, it is essential that one must know the data of education.

Definition of Education

1. According to Butler, "Education in gradual adjustment of the individual to the spiritual possession of the race."

2. According to James "Education is the organization of acquired habits of such action as will fit the individual to his physical and social environment."

3. According to Swami Vivekananda, "Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man."

Nature of Education

The nature of education has been originally considered by philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, economists, psychologists and scientists. From the point of view of all these the following elements are revealed about the nature of education-

(1). Education is a social process:– there are mainly three parts of it – the teacher, the learner and the content or action of teaching the learner. It is another matter whether the teacher is directly present in front of the learners or works behind the scenes.

(2). Education is a purposeful and conscious process:- education has some purpose and for the attainment of this objective much thought and deliberate efforts are made. That is, the process of education is conducted in a planned manner.

(3). Education is a life-long continuous process:- the child receives education not only from the teachers in the school, but throughout his life whatever he receives from the members of the society, natural environment, animals, birds, life animals etc. in the form of experience. That is all education.

(4). Education is a dynamic process:– The process of education is dynamic, not static. It starts from the birth of a person and continues till death. It motivates the person to progress and develop in life by making him active.

(5). Education is a two-way process:- Education is a two-way process in which there are two parts – one teacher and the other student. Both these parts remain active in the process of teaching. The process of education cannot take place when one of the two organs is inactive.

(6). Education is a three-pronged process:- Dewey etc. Educationists say that education is a three-pronged process and has three parts - one teacher, second child and third curriculum. Along with the teacher and the child, the curriculum is also an important part of education.

(7). Education is a process of development:– Every child is born with some hereditary powers. These powers of the child develop in the social environment. While living in the environment, the child performs many activities, due to which he gets new experiences.

Meaning of Philosophy

1. Ethymological Meaning of Philosophy:- The word philosophy is derived from two Greek words- 'Philos' and 'Sophia'. 'Philos' mean love and 'Sophia' means wisdom. Thus, philosophy means love of wisdom. In this way, search of wisdom or truth is called philosophy, and the man who engages himself in this search is called a philosopher.

In his famous book 'Republic' Plato says "He who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied may be justly termed a philosopher".

2. Specific Meaning of Philosophy:- To be precise and definite, one may call philosophy as that deep thinking and meditation which concerns itself to God, the soul and the nature. This concentration and deep thinking is for revealing the hidden and immortal realities of existence namely-what is the nature of life, whence human being has come and what will be his final destination, how does external nature affect human life, how does this cosmos operate, how does the heavenly bodies affect human life, is there any life after this, what is heaven and hell.

3. Wider Meaning of Philosophy:- A deep study reveals the fact that a man undergoes various kinds of experiences throughout his long life from birth to death. These experiences provide him with new knowledge. As a result, he develops a capacity to discriminate between right and wrong, proper and improper, relevant and irrelevant through these experiences.

In a sense, each of us does this search work in some way or the other to some lesser or greater extent. This search is essential for life to go en smoothly in this world full of diversities. In thus sense, each of us becomes a philosopher at some times or the other As this search for truth is philosophy, the great German philosopher Schopenhour rightly remarks- "Every man is a born metaphysician".

According to Huxley-Men live in accordance with their philosophy of life, their conception of the world. This is true even of the most thoughtless. It is impossible to live without metaphysics.

Definition of Philosophy

To make the meaning of philosophy more clear, the following definitions are being given-

(1). According to Henderson and his colleagues, "Philosophy is a rigorous, desciplined and guarded analysis of some most difficult problems which man has ever faced".

(2). According to R. W. Sellars, "Philosophy is a persistent attempt to give insight into the nature of the world and of ourselves by means of systematic reflection."

(3). According to Gertrand Russell, "Philosophy like other studies, aims primarily at knowledge."

Nature of Philosophy of Education

  1. Philosophy of education has emerged from the combined thinking of philosophy and pedagogy.
  2. Philosophy of education is an interdisciplinary dimension that deals with the search for philosophical solutions to educational problems.
  3. Education philosophy is a logic-oriented subject. Under this, solutions are presented by logical thinking of educational problems.
  4. Education philosophy is subjective, not objective.
  5. Education philosophy is instructional science. Its function is to direct or provide direction.
  6. Philosophy of education is both philosophical and scientific in nature, because the process of education is considered both an art and a science.
  7. Education philosophy seeks only possible solutions to educational problems.
  8. Education philosophy is the critical study of education and life.

Need and Characteristics (Features) of Philosophy

Philosophy is born out of experiences and circumstances with which it is closely related. But is has an intimate relation with science as well. We discuss below these two special features of philosophy-

(1). Philosophy according to Experience and Situation:- The first special characteristics (feature) of philosophy is that it comes out of specific experiences, special circumstances and situations. This is the reason why different persons adopted different philosophies of life in accordance with the specific circumstances and conditions wherein they spent their lives. They not only accepted their philosophies as mental beliefs only, but they tried to translate their principles and philosophical beliefs only, but they tried to translate their principles and philosophical beliefs into practice also. As for example, Gautam Buddha pondered over the ways to alleviate human sufferings which he saw with his own eyes.

(2) Philosophy and Science:- Philosophy is also closely related to Science. Science deals with realities of nature and life, animal or human Those realities are integral part of the life of child. These serve as raw material for the structuring of experiences for human beings. This interaction and experiences go to form philosophy. In short, realities of life are as essential as thoughts. Both co-operate to give rise to philosophy. A child must study both science and philosophy to know and understand truth and reality of natural and human phenomena.

Relation between Philosophy and Education

Interpreting philosophy and education separately, it is clear that both aim to impart knowledge of the truths and realities of life and develop the child accordingly. Both philosophy and education are integrally and interdependently related to each other.

Education is dependent on Philosophy due to following reasons-

(1). Philosophy determines the real destination towards which education has to go:- Education is a conscious dynamic process which needs proper guidance and supervision. Without proper guidance and supervision, it cannot achieve its goal. Philosophy determines the goal of life and also provides suitable and effective guidance and supervision for education to achieve that goal. Without the help of philosophy, education cannot be a successful process of development and achievement.

(2). Philosophy determines the various aspects of education:- Both philosophy and education are intimately and integrally connected with each other. Separation between the two is not possible on any account. It is the philosophy, we must know, that has been influencing all aspects of education since the very beginning and will go on influencing education for all time to come. Once again it will be better to recollect the saying of Ross that-Philosophy and education are like the sides of the same coin, present different views of the same thing, and that one is implied by the other."

(3). Great philosophers have been great educationists also:- History bears eloquent testimony to the fact that great philosophes have been great educationists also of their times. Plato, Socrates, Lucke, Commenius, Rousseau, Froebel, Dewey, Gandhi, Tagore, Aurobindo Ghosh and others who were great philosophers of their times have also talked about education. Their philosophical treatises have been important guide books for educational planning and determination of educational aims for children of the world.

Philosophy is dependent on education due to following reasons-

(1) Education is the dynamic side of philosophy:- Two things are essential for al for completing any task- (1) Thought or plan and (2) Application or practicability. Philosophy the application or is the thought or plan side and education is practical side. Philosophy determines the aim of life and by analysis lays down the principles to be followed for achieving the set aims. Education translates these principles and ideas practice, into because the purpose of education is to mould human behaviour.

(2) Education is a means to achieve the Goal:- Education contributes to new thinking and new philosophy may born out of his thinking and analysing. So close are these two, the philosophy and the education, that it well be better to discuss this relation in greater details as Philosophy and aims of education, Philosophy and Curriculum, Philosophy and methods of teaching, philosophy and discipline, philosophy and Text-books and so on.

Difference between Philosophy and Darshan

The word Philosophy is derive from two Greek words: 'Philos' and 'Sophia', 'Philos' means love and 'Sophia' means wisdom. thus philosophy means love of wisdom. If one thinks of wisdom as "a high degree of knowledge." the extended literal meaning of philosophy becomes "love of a high degree of knowledge". On this point, Aristotle made a statement that typifies Greek thought. "All mean by nature desire to know." Wisdom as the basis of philosophy encompasses religion, science and art. It engages one's thinking and deals with abstract concepts and theory. One who is seeking wisdom is concerned with observation, values, mental pictures, spiritual beings, knowledge and nature.

Some people consider Indian term 'Darsana' as an equivalent of philosophy. The word Darsana literally means 'seeing' The simple physiological act of seeing implies the seen and the 'seer (he who sees the seen), which is comparatively, a good word used by Indians for the word philosopher. The 'seeing is vision of the the entire experienced reality, it is all encompassing, for it is the vision of truth itself. The term philosophy requires in its derived European sense and intelligible and coherent accounting of the experience of the experience of life.

Read also

Post a Comment

© Samar Education All rights reserved. Distributed by SamarEducation