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After reading this chapter, you will be able to. This chapter introduces several theories concerning the sociology of education. Because this text explores education from a sociological perspective, it is essential that we consider how theory contributes to our understanding of education as a part of society. It is like seeing the world through a specific set of glasses see Figure 2. The way we see the world clearly influences how we interpret the social processes that are occurring within it.

Sociology And Philosophy

This introductory article explains the coverage of this book, which is about the philosophical aspects of education. It explains that the philosophy of education is the branch of philosophy that addresses philosophical questions concerning the nature, aims, and problems of education. The book examines the problems concerning the aims and guiding ideals of education.

It also explores the problems concerning students' and parents' rights, the best way to understand and conduct moral education, and the character of purported educational ideals. Keywords: education , philosophy , students' rights , parents' rights , moral education , educational ideals. Philosophy of education is that branch of philosophy that addresses philosophical questions concerning the nature, aims, and problems of education.

As a branch of practical philosophy, its practitioners look both inward to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practice, as well as to developmental psychology, cognitive science more generally, sociology, and other relevant disciplines. The most basic problem of philosophy of education is that concerning aims: what are the proper aims and guiding ideals of education?

A related question concerns evaluation: what are the appropriate criteria for evaluating educational efforts, institutions, practices, and products? Other important problems involve the authority of the state and of teachers, and the rights of students and parents; the character of purported educational ideals such as critical thinking, and of purportedly undesirable phenomena such as indoctrination; the best way to understand and conduct moral education; a range of questions concerning teaching, learning, and curriculum; and many others.

All these and more are addressed in the essays that follow. For much of the history of Western philosophy, philosophical questions concerning education were high on the philosophical agenda. From Socrates, Plato, and p. Peters, and Israel Scheffler, general philosophers i. The same is true of most of the major figures of the Western philosophical tradition, including Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Mill, and many others.

On the face of it, this should not be surprising. For one thing, the pursuit of philosophical questions concerning education is partly dependent upon investigations of the more familiar core areas of philosophy. For example, questions concerning the curriculum routinely depend on epistemology and the philosophies of the various curriculum subjects e. What is it about art that entitles it, if it is so entitled, to a place in the curriculum?

According to what criteria should specific curriculum content be selected? Should all students be taught the same content? To what end should students be taught—if they should be so taught—to reason? Can reasoning be fostered independently of the advocacy, inculcation, or indoctrination of particular beliefs? Should all students be taught in the same manner? How are permissible teaching practices distinguished from impermissible ones?

Is it permissible for schools to be in the business of the formation of students' character, given liberalism's reluctance to endorse particular conceptions of the good?

Should schools be constituted as democratic communities? Do all students have a right to education? If so, to what extent if any is such an education obliged to respect the beliefs of all groups, and what does such respect involve? This sort of dependence on the parent discipline is typical of philosophical questions concerning education.

Another, related reason that the philosophical tradition has taken educational matters as a locus of inquiry is that many fundamental questions concerning education—for example, those concerning the aims of education, the character and desirability of liberal education, indoctrination, moral and intellectual virtues, the imagination, authenticity, and other educational matters—are of independent philosophical interest but are intertwined with more standard core areas and issues p.

Given the cognitive state of the very young child, is it possible to avoid indoctrination entirely—and if not, how bad a thing is that?

Should education aim at the transmission of existing knowledge or, rather, at fostering the abilities and dispositions conducive to inquiry and the achievement of autonomy? In addition, the pursuit of fundamental questions in more or less all the core areas of philosophy often leads naturally to and is sometimes enhanced by sustained attention to questions about education e. For these reasons, and perhaps others, it is not surprising that the philosophical tradition has generally regarded education as a worthy and important target of philosophical reflection.

It is therefore unfortunate that the pursuit of philosophy of education as an area of philosophical investigation has been largely abandoned by general philosophers in the last decades of the twentieth century, especially in the United States.

Hamlyn, R. Hare, Alasdaire MacIntyre, A. The reasons for this loss are complex and are mainly contingent historical ones that I will not explore here. It remains, nevertheless, that this state of affairs is unfortunate for the health of philosophy of education as an area of philosophical endeavor, and for general philosophy as well. One purpose of this volume is to rectify this situation.

The essays that follow are divided in a way that reflects my own, no doubt somewhat idiosyncratic understanding of the contours of the field; other groupings would be equally sensible. In the first section, concerning the aims of education , Emily p.

The next concerns a variety of issues involving thinking, reasoning, teaching, and learning. Richard Feldman discusses epistemological aspects of thinking and reasoning as they are manifested in the educational context.

Jonathan Adler offers an account, informed by recent work in cognitive science as well as epistemology, of the nature of fallibility and its educational significance. Eamonn Callan and Dylan Arena offer an account of indoctrination, while Stefaan Cuypers does the same for authenticity. David Moshman provides a psychological account of the development of rationality, while Gareth Matthews raises doubts concerning the contributions developmental psychology might make to the philosophical understanding of the various cognitive dimensions of education.

The third section focuses on moral, value, and character education. Elijah Millgram focuses on moral skepticism and possible attendant limits of moral education. Graham Oddie offers a metaphysical account of value as part of a general approach to values education. The next section treats issues arising at the intersection of knowledge, curriculum, and educational research.

David Carr addresses general questions concerning the extent to which, and the ways in which, the curriculum is and ought to be driven by our views of knowledge. Robert Audi and Richard Grandy both address questions concerning science education—the first focusing on the ways in which religious toleration and liberal neutrality might constrain science education, and the second on contemporary cognitive scientific investigations of teaching and learning in the science classroom.

Denis Phillips assesses extant philosophical critiques of educational research and discusses the scientific status, current state, and future promise of such research.

The fifth section addresses social and political issues concerning education. Amy Gutmann and Meira Levinson both address contentious questions concerning education in the contemporary circumstances of multiculturalism, while Lawrence Blum treats the problematic character and effects of prejudice and the prospects for overcoming them. Rob Reich investigates the moral and legal legitimacy of some varieties of educational authority, emphasizing the important but often overlooked interests of children.

The final section includes three papers that discuss particular approaches to philosophy of education: Randall Curren considers pragmatic approaches to the subject, Nel Noddings feminist approaches, and Nicholas Burbules postmodern approaches.

All three provide useful overviews of and also critically address the promise of and problems facing the target approaches. All of these chapters exhibit both the deep and genuinely philosophical character of philosophical questions concerning education, and the benefits to be gained by sustained attention, by students and philosophers alike, to those questions. Most of them are written by distinguished general philosophers; they reflect both a sophisticated mastery of the core areas of philosophy to which these authors have made independent important contributions and a deep grasp of the significance of philosophical questions concerning education.

All of them exemplify the benefits to be derived from a fruitful interaction between philosophy of education and the parent discipline. The time is right for philosophy of education to regain its rightful place in the world of general philosophy. And it is for this reason that I am especially pleased to have been involved in the present project.

Happily, there have been some positive developments on this score in recent years, as well as some honorable exceptions to the general neglect of philosophy of education in recent decades by the community of general philosophers. Archambault, Reginald D. Philosophical Analysis and Education. Find this resource:. Curren, Randall a.

Craig pp. London: Routledge. Doyle, James F. Educational Judgments: Papers in the Philosophy of Education. Frankena, William K. Hamlyn, D. Experience and the Growth of Understanding. Langford, Glenn, and D. O'Connor, eds. New Essays in the Philosophy of Education. The Monist General Topic: Philosophy of Education. Monist Phillips, D. Philosophers on Education: New Historical Perspectives.

Scheffler, Israel, ed. Philosophy and Education: Modern Readings. Boston: Allyn and Bacon. The Language of Education. Springfield, IL: Charles C. Chicago: Scott Foresman. Reason and Teaching. Indianapolis: Hackett.

Siegel, Harvey Forthcoming in Encyclopaedia Britannica , print version. For more detailed depictions of the field, see Curren b , Phillips , and Siegel For contemporary assessments of the contributions to philosophy of education of these and other figures, made by an impressive roster of contemporary general philosophers, see Rorty A fine brief survey is provided in Curren a.

Phillips section 1.

Philosophy of Education

Burbules Nathan Raybeck. The word education is used sometimes to signify the activity, process, or enterprise of educating or being educated and sometimes to signify the discipline or field of study taught in schools of education that concerns itself with this activity, process, or enterprise. As an activity or process, education may be formal or informal, private or public, individual or social, but it always consists in cultivating dispositions abilities, skills, knowledges, beliefs, attitudes, values, and character traits by certain methods. As a discipline, education studies or reflects on the activity or enterprise by asking questions about its aims, methods, effects, forms, history, costs, value, and relations to society. The philosophy of education may be either the philosophy of the process of education or the philosophy of the discipline of education.

Sociology and anthropology involve the systematic study of social life and culture in order to understand the causes and consequences of human action. Sociologists and anthropologists study the structure and processes of traditional cultures and modern, industrial societies in both Western and non-Western cultures. They examine how culture, social structures groups, organizations and communities and social institutions family, education, religion, etc. Sociology and anthropology combine scientific and humanistic perspectives in the study of society. Drawing upon various theoretical perspectives, sociologists and anthropologists study areas such as culture, socialization, deviance, inequality, health and illness, family patterns, social change and race and ethnic relations. Combining theoretical perspectives with empirical research allows students an opportunity to develop new insights and a different perspective on their own lives.

Introduction: Philosophy of Education and Philosophy

Functionalists point to other latent roles of education such as transmission of core values and social control. The core values in American education reflect those characteristics that support the political and economic systems that originally fueled education. Therefore, children in America receive rewards for following schedules, following directions, meeting deadlines, and obeying authority. The most important value permeating the American classroom is individualism —the ideology that advocates the liberty rights , or independent action, of the individual.

Monthly E-magazine Current affairs Digest. Sociology means the study of society on a generalized or abstract level. In an empirical science the generalizations concerning a specified field of inquiry are drawn from facts observed in that field or in closely related fields these generalizations are drawn.

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Sociological and Philosophical Perspectives on Education in the Asia-Pacific Region

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Sociology and Anthropology

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Introduction: Philosophy of Education and Philosophy

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This introductory article explains the coverage of this book, which is about the philosophical aspects of education.

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