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PHILOSOPHY, EDUCATION AND THEIR INTERDEPENDENCE

DR V.K.MAHESHW Ph.D PRINCIPAL College of Education D.I.M.S. MEERUT INDIA

PALLAVI SING M.Ed LECTURER College of Education D.I.M.S. MEERUT INDIA

DR SURAKSHA BANSAL Ph.D PRINCIPAL College of Educatiion M.I.T.MEERUT INDIA

Since philosophy is the art which teaches us how to live, and since children need to learn it as much as we do at other ages, why do we not instruct them in it? .. But in truth I know nothing about the philosophy of education except this: that the greatest and the most important difficulty known to human learning seems to lie in that area which treats how to bring up children and how to educate them. (de Montaigne, On teaching Philosophy of Education)

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The inter-dependence of philosophy and education is clearly seen from the fact that the great philosophers of all times have also been great educators and their philosophy is reflected in their educational systems. This inter-dependence can be better understood by analyzing the implications of philosophical principles in the field of education . Before analyzing the educational implications of general philosophy, we should know the concept of "Philosophy" and "Education". Each one of us has a personal philosophy which we apply consciously and unconsciously in our daily life . . Each philosophy reflects a unique view of what is good and what is important. In this sense, philosophy is the system of beliefs about life. The literal meaning of philosophy is the love of wisdom which is derived from the Greek word "Philos" (Love) and Sophia (Wisdom). Wisdom does not merely mean knowledge. It is a continuous seeking of insight into basic realities - the physical world, life, mind, society ,knowledge and values. When we speak of philosophy we use a term which may be viewed in two senses.The first of these is that of the word itself which literally means ³ love of wisdom´.But to love wisdom does not necessarily make one a philosopher.Today, we think of philosophy in a more limited sense as man,s attempt to give meaning to his existence through the continued search for a comprehensive and consistent answer to basic problems .It is this second sense of the word which makes the philosopher an active person; one who seeks answers, rather than one who simply sits around engaging in idle and frivolous speculation. Today, most philosophers are actively concerned with life.THEY SEEK ANSWERS TO BASIC PROBLEMS.Thus we find that philosophers are doing as well as thinking, and it is their thinking which guides their doing.What they do

is rooted in the search for answers to certain types of problems and the tentative answers they have formulated. The three great problems of philosophy are the problems of reality, knowledge, and value(1) The problem of reality is this; What is the nature of the universe in which we live? Or,in the last analysis, what is real ? The branch of philosophy which deals with this problem is termed as METAPHYSICS (2) The problem of knowledge is this; How does a man know what is real? That is to say, how do we come by our knowledge and how can we be sure it is true, not error or illusion? The area of philosophy which is devoted to solving this problem is termed as EPISTOMOLOGY. (3) The third great problem, the problem of value,is this;What are the important values which are to be desired in living? Are these values rooted in reality? And how can they be realized in our experience? The branch of philosophy dealing with such questions are these is named AXIOLOGY (4) Most closely related to epistemology, is another branch of philosophy which deals with the exact relating of ideas.This area of philosophy is commonly referred to as the science of LOGIC. The concept 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 centrality²and 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. Education does not mean mere schooling.Education refers not only to a process in and out of classroom. To become educated is to learn to become a person. Etymologically, 'educahon' is derived from "educare" which means 'to lead out' or "to drawout'. In a broad sense, education refers to an act or experience that has a formative effect onthe mind, character or physical ability of an individual. %cation in this sense never ends,we truly learn from experience throughout our lives. 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. Unfortunately, this definition offers little unless we further define words such as develop, knowledge, and character. . This is hardly a new argument. In ancient Greece, Socrates argued that education was about drawing out what was already within the student. (As many of you know, the word education comes from the Latin educere meaning "to lead out.") At the same time, the Sophists, a group of itinerant teachers, promised to give students the necessary knowledge and skills to gain positions with the city-state. The definition of education in common usage, that education is merely the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to

students, is inadequate to capture what is really important about being and becoming educated. The proper definition of education is the process of becoming an educated person. Being an educated person means you have access to optimal states of mind regardless of the situation you are in. You are able to perceive accurately, think clearly and act effectively to achieve self-selected goals and aspirations. Education is a process of cognitive cartography, mapping your experiences and finding a variety of reliable routes to optimal states when you find yourself in non-optimal states. The idea that the definition of education is the delivery of knowledge, skills and information from teachers to students is misguided. . A Proper Definition of Education The common definition of education is simply wrong when you consider how education actually occurs. A proper definition of education will have to cover these four important aspects of how we become educated: 1. The necessity of having and manipulating knowledge, skills and information 2. The helpfulness of teachers, without requiring them 3. The constant need to see through the inherent illusions that arise from our unconscious thought processes, and 4. Our ability to influence our states of mind Based on these four criteria I define education as a process of cognitive cartography.

Despite what the letter writer might have wished, there is no definition of education that is agreed upon by all, or even most, educators. The meanings they attach to the word are complex beliefs arising from their own values and experiences. To the extent that those beliefs differ, the experience of students in today's classrooms can never be the same. Worse, many educators have never been asked to state their beliefs²or even to reflect on what they believe. At the very least, teachers owe it to their students to bring their definitions into consciousness and examine them for validity It is difficult to define education without implying an educational philosophy, and evidence of the intimate relation between philosophy and education. It is interesting to note in this connection that John Dewey defines philosophy simply as a general theory of education. But many other philosophers feel that it is more than this. If described so generally as to make room for most varieties of educational theory, education would have to be defined somewhat as follows: and activity or endeavor in which the more mature of human society deal wit the less mature, in order to achieve a greater maturity in them and contribute thereby to the improvement of human life. Interdependence of philosophy and education is an essentiality for human development .both represents two side of a coin , both are equally important .PHILOSOPHY DETEMINES THE VIEW OF LIFE WHILE EDUCATION DETERMINES THE WAY OF LIFE.. They are so interlocked that without the one the existence of the other is beyond comprehension. The close relationship between philosophy and education led to the emergence of a new branch of knowledge ,philosophy of education which ³traditionally assumed the burden of formulating goals , norms ,of

standards by which to conduct the educative process´,. It assures the ³ educator not only of the substance of the programmed of the schools but of its formal validity´. In spite of variance amongst diverse philosophies of education-empirical-non empirical, speculative-normative .commonsense-critical ,and a host of other combinations-all seem to be recognizing ³ the importance of interest and individual differences´. Philosophy is theoretical and speculative; education is practical. Philosophy asks questions, examining factors of reality and experience, many of which are involved in the educative process; whereas the actual process of education is a matter of actively dealing with these factors, i.e., teaching, organizing programs, administering organizations, building curricula, etc. The process of philosophizing about education requires an understanding of education and its problems. Hence, we can say that philosophy of education is the application of philosophical ideas to educational problems. It is not only a way of looking at ideas but also of how to use them in the best way. Therefore, it can be said that philosophy is the theory while education is the practice. Practice unguided by theory is aimless, inconsistent and inefficient just as theory which is not ultimately translatable into practice is useless and confusing. In the words of Ross "philosophy is the contemplative side while education is the active side". Philosophy deals with the ends while education deals with the means and techniques of achieving those means. Educational philosophy depends on formal philosophy because most of the major problems of education are in fact philosophical problems. Like general philosophy, educational philosophy is speculative, prescriptive critical or analytic. There are two chief ways in which philosophy and education are relate. (1) Philosophy yields a comprehensive understanding of reality, a world view, which when applied to educational practice lends direction and

methodology which are likely to be lacking otherwise. By way of reciprocation, (2) the experience of the educator in nurturing the young places him in touch with phases of reality which are considered in making philosophic judgments. Because of this, those who are actively engaged in educating can advise philosophers abut certain matters of facts. That is to say, that while philosophy is a guide to educational practice, education as a field of investigation yields certain data as a basis for philosophic judgments. As an example of this relationship, what is one instance of fact which the science of education yields to the philosopher for further use in the building of a world view? Well, in the practice of education there is intimate association with children, young people, and adults, as students. This close association is an unusual opportunity for observing human natures as it is. A teacher can scarcely avoid the formation of some attitudes as to the nature of man, as he is beheld in the pupil. Is the human individual a mechanism of nature, an organism, a segment of society, or a spirit? The educator may not venture the answers, but he can at least offer the philosopher some solid observations on which to base his conception of man. Returning to the first mentioned relation between philosophy and education, what are some of the problems philosophy investigates which have direct equivalents in educational policies? . All philosophies are concerned with the nature of the self. As has been inquired just above, they ask, Is the self a physical, social, or spiritual unit? Whatever answer is given will go far in determining a person¶s attitude toward the pupil, in case education in one of his major interests. If the self is a physical unit, then pupils are biological organisms. If the self is a physical unit, then pupils are biological organisms. If it is a

social unit, then pupils are little pieces of society. If it is a spiritual unit, then pupils are souls wit destinies which out reach both biological and social processes. . Philosophy is concerned, among other things, with value; education also must necessarily deal with value, more than most other social institutions. Some of the questions which value, more than most other social institutions. Some of the questions which philosophy asks about value are: What kind of existence do values have? Are there any values which are ultimately real? How does man possess or realize value? Must effort be put forward in the process? Or do values come to us without effort, like an inheritance? Such questions as these are most relevant to education. If, for example, it is true that effort is involved in the possession of value, this is just another way of saying that experiences which educate are fundamental to any progress in experiencing or realizing value. A way of looking at value philosophically in the instance necessarily looks to educative activates as a means in the importance life-task of leaving off the old and entering into the new which is more to be valued then the old. Value thinking in philosophy is also related to education in another important way. Educations must have objectives if it is to be effective; otherwise it descends to the level of aimless activity which is the antithesis of educative experiences. But how can education have valid objectives unless these are formulated within the context of responsible thinking about value in general? There is too little awareness of this connection between value theory and educational objective, and much superficial talk about objectives does not go far in perceiving this connection. . Having acquired the philosopher¶s interest to the extent of asking and answering such questions as these, the education will scarcely stop before determining what his philosophizing implies for the educational

process itself. It the pupil is a biological unit only, and the context within which objectives are set is purely naturalistic, then the process of educating will be a purely natural process, in no sense transcending the natural order. But if the pupil is a spiritual being and the objectives of education are anchored in immortality and an ultimate divine society, then the process by which man is educated must be consistently and care fully refined so that personality is always treated as personality, never as mechanism or near-personality, and so that ceilings are not placed above individuals or societies inhibiting them in reaching out toward the ultimate. Of course in all of the connections between philosophy and education the certainty of transfer is by no means assured. One educator may enjoy theorizing and be poor in performance of effective practice which grows out of his theory. Another may be at home only in concrete practice, confirmed in the practice. It is hoped that this book will show up both of these attitudes as inadequate and make the student shun equally the possibilities of becoming a theorist who cannot practice his theory or a practitioner who assumes that he can practice without any theory. For there can be no clear and sharp separation between theory and practice. No teacher or administrator however effective in practice can avoid assumptions, conscious or unconscious, as to what it is that he is about. These assumptions, it should be pointed out, are the material of theory, not of practice, and they need both to be examined critically and to be related to other assumptions in the largest context of belief, in order to be adequate as a basis for practice. Furthermore no theory is fully expressed until it is expressed in practice. Not being an end in itself, theory becomes the evident enjoyment of the dilettante when pursued without responsible reference to practice. It might be said that there can be no practice with out practice, for though merges into action and action emerges out of thought.

Education and philosophy are inseparable because the ends of education are the ends of philosophy i.e., wisdom; and the means of philosophy is the means of education i.e. inquiry, which alone can lead to wisdom. Any separation of philosophy and education inhibits inquiry and frustrates wisdom. Education involves both the world of ideas and the world of practical activity; good ideas can lead to good practice and good practices reinforce good ideas. In order ro behave intelligently in the educational process, education needs direction and guidance which philosophy can provide. Hence philosophy is not only a professional tool for the educator but also a way of improving the quality of life because it helps us to gain a wider and deeper perspective on human existence and the world around us. The chief task of philosophy is to determine what constitutes good life whereas the main task of education is how to make life worth living. So philosophy and education are mutually re-constructive. They give and take from each other. Philosophy deals with the goals and essentials of good life while education provides the means to achieve those goals of good life. In this sense philosophy of education is a distinct but not a separate discipline. It takes its contents from education and its methods from philosophy. . Philosophy and Methodology of Instruction ±How to teach, depends quite directly upon the nature of knowledge, which depends quite directly upon the nature of man. The aims of education. The Role of teacher, The concept of student, the curriculum, the concept of Discipline, importance and involvement of social agencies ete have determining influence of Philosophy on their nature and involvement. If different areas of education are are observed In relation to philosophy we will conclude that philosophy is an essentiality for a productive and progressive outlook on education Rusk had rightly commented¶ from every angle of educational problem comes thus the demand for a

philosophical basis of the subject«.There is no escape from a philosophy of life and of education. As Philosophers, Scientists and Educators we have a responsibility to maintain great knowledge from the past, for as Einstein beautifully writes; ... knowledge must continually be renewed by ceaseless effort, if it is not to be lost. It resembles a statue of marble which stands in the desert and is continually threatened with burial by the shifting sand. The hands of service must ever be at work, in order that the marble continue to lastingly shine in the sun. To these serving hands mine shall also belong. (Einstein, On Education, 1950)

REFERANCES

Brameld, Theodore-,Toward a Reconstructed Philosophy of Education. Newyork; Dryden Press. Breed, Frederick, ³Education and the Realistic Outlook,´ Philosophies of Education. National Society for the Study of Education, Forty-first Yearbook, Part 1. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1942. Broundy, Harry S., Building a Philosophy of Education. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. : Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961.. Butler, J. Donald, Four Philosophies and Their««« Education and Religion. New York : Harper & Row. Herbart, J.F., The Science of Education. Boston : D.C.Heath & Company, 1902.

Locke, John Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Oxford : Clarendon Press, 1902. The basic statement of Locke¶s epistemological position. Weber, Christian O., Basic Philosophies of Education. New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 1960. This book, especially in chapters 11-14,. Wild, John, ³Education and human Society : A Realistic View,´ Modern Philosophies and Education. National Society for the study of Education, Fifty-fourth Yearbook, Part I. Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1955. Broudy, Harry S., Building a Philosophy of Education. Englewood Cliffs, N.J. Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1961.. . Frank Thilly, ³A History of philosophy´, Central Publishing House, Allahabad. John Dewey, ³Reconstruction in Philosophy,´ p-38. London, University of London Press Ltd. 1921. Rusk, R.R., ³Philosophical Basis of Education´ p-68, footnote, London, University of London Press, 1956..

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