MEANING, SCOPE & FUNCTIONS OF PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
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Philosophy is a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. It signifies a natural and necessary urge in human beings to know themselves and the world in which they live and move and have their being. Western philosophy remained more or less true to the etymological meaning of philosophy in being essentially an intellectual quest for truth. Hindu
philosophy is intensely spiritual and has always emphasized the need for practical realization of Truth. Philosophy is a comprehensive system of ideas about human nature and the nature of the reality we live in. It is a guide for living, because the issues it addresses are basic and pervasive, determining the course we take in life and how we treat other people. Hence we can say that all the aspects of human life are influenced and governed by the philosophical consideration.As a field of study philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines. It is considered as a mother of all the sciences. In fact it is at the root of all knowledge. Education has also drawn its material from different philosophical bases. Education, like philosophy is also closely related to human life. Therefore, being an important life activity education is also greatly influenced by philosophy. Various fields of philosophy like the political philosophy, social philosophy and economic philosophy have great influence on the various aspects of education like educational procedures, processes, policies, planning and its implementation, from both the theoretical and practical aspects. In order to understand the concept of Philosophy of education it is necessary to first understand the meaning of the two terms; Philosophy and Education.
MEANING OF PHILOSOPHY & EDUCATION
Meaning of Philosophy The word philosophy literally means love of wisdom; It is derived from two Greek words i.e. 'phileo' (love) and 'Sophia' (wisdom). This tells us something about the nature of philosophy, but not much, because many disciplines seek wisdom. Since times immemorial there have been various pursuits for unfolding the mystery of the universe, birth and death, sorrow and joy. Various ages have produced different thoughts throwing light upon the mystic region. The ultimate truth is yet to be found out. This eternal quest for truth 'lends the origin of philosophy. A love of wisdom is the essence for any philosophy investigation.
On the standard way of telling the story, humanity's first systematic inquiries took place within a mythological or religious framework: wisdom ultimately was to be derived from sacred traditions and from individuals thought to possess privileged access to a supernatural realm, whose own access to wisdom, in turn, generally was not questioned. However, starting in the sixth century BCE, there appeared in ancient Greece a series of thinkers whose inquiries were comparatively secular (see "The Milesians and the Origin of Philosophy"). Presumably, these thinkers conducted their inquiries through reason and observation, rather than through tradition or revelation. These thinkers were the first philosophers.
Meaning of Education
Etymologically, the word education is derived from educare (Latin) "bring up", which is related to educere "bring out", "bring forth what is within", "bring out potential" and ducere, "to lead". Education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind, character or physical ability of an individual. In its technical sense, education is the process by which society deliberately transmits its accumulated knowledge, skills and values from one generation to another. Webster defines education as the process of educating or teaching (now that's really useful, isn't it?) Educate is further defined as "to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of..." Thus, from these definitions, we might assume that the purpose of education is to develop the knowledge, skill, or character of students.
CONCEPT OF PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
All human societies, past and present, have had a vested interest in education; and some wits have claimed that teaching (at its best an educational activity) is the second oldest profession. While not all societies channel sufficient resources into support for educational activities and institutions, all at the very least acknowledge their centrality—and for good reasons. For one thing, it is obvious that children are born illiterate and innumerate, and ignorant of the norms and cultural achievements of the community or society into which they have been thrust; but with the help of professional teachers and the dedicated amateurs in their families and immediate environs (and with the aid, too, of educational resources made available through the media and nowadays the internet), within a few years they can read, write, calculate, and act (at least often) in culturally-appropriate ways. Some learn these skills with more facility than others, and so education also serves as a social-sorting mechanism and undoubtedly has enormous impact on the economic fate of the individual. Put more abstractly, at its best education equips individuals with the skills and substantive knowledge that allows them to define and to pursue their own goals, and also allows them to participate in the life of their community as full-fledged, autonomous citizens