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Philosophical Foundations of Education

Philosophical Foundations of Education

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Philosophical Foundations of Education

ii iii

Philosophical Foundations of Education

K.K. Shrivastava


New Delhi 110 002



4697/5-21A, Ansari Road, Daryaganj

New Delhi-110 002

Phones: 327 0497, 328 8285

Fax: 011-328 8285

e-mail: kanishka@mantraonline.com

First Published 2003

© Author

ISBN 81-7391-539-3


Published by Madan Sachdeva for Kanishka Publishers, Distributors, 4697/5-21A, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi
110 002; Lasertypeset by Baba DTP Services, Delhi, and Printed at Nice Printing Press, Delhi.



The present work Philosophical Foundations of Education, among several books the subject, claims to be most
comprehensive yet to the point analysis and description of the subject in the Indian context. It covers the syllabi of almost
all the Indian universities on the subject in simple and lucid language drawing examples from the Indian environment.

This book lays down the basic concepts of philosophical foundations of education required to be understood by every
reader—students, scholars, teachers and specialists of the subject. Most of the Indian writers on the subject have not
touched the subject in totality. They have confined their works only to Naturalism, Idealism, Realism and Pragmatism and
some of them only have taken Modern Humanism as a philosophical concept for discussing the philosophical foundations
of education.

Though some of the Indian writer have mentioned 'Progressive Education' and 'New Tendencies and Education'
distinctively but that too without mentioning philosophical foundations of these 'New Tendencies'.

The work at hand not only considered Naturalism, Idealism, Realism, Pragmatism and Modern Humanism, but also the
philosophies of Logical Empiricism, Humanistic Realism, Social Realism, Sense Realism, Neo-Realism as well as
Philosophies of Logical Positivism, Scientific Empiricism, Unity of Science Movement, Behaviourism and Ideals of the
Philosophy of


Renaissance, to discuss the Philosophical Foundations of Education. Thus this work claims to be unique in nature.

Planned as a textbook for the students and reference book for the scholars, teachers and specialists this book is a critical
and constructive appraisal of the subject. While I have tried my best to make this book the best book on the subject, the
students, scholars, teachers, specialists and general readers are the best judge of its merits.

Suggestions for improvement are, therefore, cordially invited.

K.K. Shrivastava



Preface v

1. Need for the Philosophical Foundations of Education 1

• The Nature of Philosophy

• The Functions of Philosophy

• Features of Philosophy

* 1. Philosophy according to Experience and Situation

* 2. Philosophy and Science

• Nature of Education

• Meaning of Education

* Etymological meaning of Education

* Data of Education

* Narrower meaning of Education

* Wider meaning of Education

* Analytical meaning of Education

• Meaning of Education in the West

• Meaning of Education in India

• Synthetic Definition

* True Definition of Education

* Modern Concept of Education Features of Modern Education

• The Interdependence of Philosophy and Education

• Philosophy and Aims of Education

• Philosophy and the Curriculum

• Philosophy and Text-books

• Philosophy and Teacher


• Philosophy and Method of Teaching

• Philosophy and Discipline

• Conclusion

• Questions for Answer

2. Philosophy—The Basic Aspects 32

• Introduction

• Historical Review

• Definiton of Philosophy

• Philosophical Method

• Philosophical Activity

• Philosophical Effects

• Philosophical Conclusions

• Nature of Philosophy

• Problems of Philosophy

* Philosophical Problems are General Problems

* Philosophical Problems

* Types of Philosophical Problems

* Problems of Philosophical Sciences

• Problems of Philosophy as a Comprehensive Science

• Scope of Philosophy

• Branches of Philosophy

• Philosophical Attitude

* Characteristics of Philosophical Attitude

• Philosophy and Common Sense

• Value of Philosophy

• Questions for Answer

3. Naturalism and Education 68

• Schools of Philosophical Thought

• Naturalism and Materialism

* Definition of Naturalism

* Development of Naturalism

* Principles of Naturalism

* Forms of Naturalism

• Naturalism and Metaphysics

* Humanistic Naturalism

* Humanistic Naturalism Defined

* The Method

* Man and Human Society

* Humanism and Religion

• Naturalism in Education

• Summary of Naturalism in Education


• Characteristics of Naturalistic Education

• Naturalism and Aims of Education

• Naturalism and Types of Education

• Naturalism and the Content of Education

• Naturalism and Teacher

• Naturalism and Discipline

• Naturalism and School

• Naturalism and Agencies of Education

• Naturalism and Organization of Education

• Naturalism and Methods of Education

• The Modern Progressive Education Movement

• Merits and Demerits of Naturalism

* Merits of Naturalism

* Demerits of Naturalism

• Summary of Naturalism

• Questions for Answer

4. Idealism and Education 99

• Idealism as a Philosophical Doctrine

• What Idealism Is

* Definition of Idealism

• Types of Idealism

* Subjective Idealism

* Objective Idealism

* Personal Idealism

• Fundamental Principles of Idealism

• Implications of Idealism

* Man Lives in a Friendly Universe

* Idealism and Man's Social Relationships

• Idealism in Education

* Idealism and Aims of Education

• Idealism and the Curriculum

• Idealism and Teacher

• Idealism and Method of Teaching

• Idealism, Interest and Discipline

• Idealism and School

• Merits and Demerits of Idealism

* Merits of Idealism

* Demerits of Idealism

• Summary of Idealism

• Questions for Answer


5. Realism and Education 126

• Realism in Philosophy

• Meaning and Definition of Realism

• Definition of Realism

• Forms of Realism and Their Impact on Education

* 1. Humanistic Realism

* 2. Social Realism

* 3. Sense Realism

* 4. Neo-Realism

• History of Realism

• Fundamental Principles of Realism

• Realism in Education

• Realism and Aims of Education

• Characteristics of Realistic Education

• Realism and Curriculum

• Realism and the Teacher

• Realism and the Methods of Teaching

• Realism: Interest and Discipline

• Realism and School

• Merits of Realism

• Demerits of Realism

• Summary of Realism

• Questions for Answer

6. Pragmatism and Education 154

• Introduction

• History of Pragmatism

• Meaning and Definition of Pragmatism

* Meaning of Pragmatism

* Definition of Pragmatism

• Pragmatism in Philosophy

• Forms of Pragmatism

• Principles of Pragmatism

• Characteristics of Pragmatic Education

• Pragmatism in Education

• Pragmatism and Aims of Education

• Pragmatism and the Curriculum

• Pragmatism and the Teacher

• Pragmatism and Methods of Teaching

• Project Method

• Pragmatism and Discipline


• Pragmatism and School

• Merits of Pragmatism

• Demerits of Pragmatism

• Critical Evaluation

• Summary of Pragmatism

• Questions for Answer

7. Logical Positivism Influenced by Pragmatic
Education Leads to Progressive Education 186

• David Hume

• Auguste Comte

• Logical Positivism and the Vienna Circle

• Principles of Progressive Education

• Agencies of Education

• Organisation of Education

• Aims of Education

• Types of Education

• Content of Education

• Teacher and the Methods of Teaching

• Questions for Answer

8. Behaviourism as a Philosophy in Education
(Psychological Tendency in Education) 199

• Introduction

• Psychology

• Education

• Behaviourism as a Philosophy

• Meaning of Psychological Tendency in Education

• Characteristics of Behaviourism or Psychological Tendency

• Main Educators of Psychological Tendency

* 1. Johan Henrich Pestalozzi (1746-1827)

— His Life Sketch

— Existing School Conditions

— Educational Principles of Pestalozzi

— Meaning of Education According to Pestalozzi

— Pestalozzi's Aim of Education

— Curriculum According of Pestalozzi

— The Theory of Anschaunng

— Educational Creeds of Pestalozzi

— Method of Teaching According to Pestalozzi

— Organisation of Education According to Pestalozzi

— Contribution of Pestalozzi


* 2. John Frederick Herbart (1776-1841)

— Life Sketch

— Herbart's Theory of Ideas

— Herbart's Psychology of Education

— Aim of Education According to Herbart

— Curriculum According to Herbart

— Process of Instruction

— Discipline According to Herbart

— An Evaluation

* 3. Fedrick William August Froebel (1782-1853)

— Life Sketch

— Froebel's Faith in Spontaneous Growth

— Leibnitz Theory of Organic Growth

— Theory of Inner Growth and Education

— Froebel on Mental Development

— Educational Views of Froebel

— Aim of Education According to Froebel

— The Function of Education

— The Childhood is a Period of Play

— The Child's Own Individuality: Self Realisation

— Self Activity is Creative

— School an Instrument of Progress

— Kinder-Garten Method

— Merits of Kinder-Garten Method

— Demerits of Kinder-Garten Method

— Curriculum According to Froebel

— Method of Teaching According to Froebel

— Discipline According to Froebel

— An Evaluations

• Questions for Answer

9. The Scientific Tendency in Education
(Sense Realism and Scientific Empiricism in Education) 240

• Introduction

• Definition of Scientific Tendency

• History of Scientific Tendency

• Scientific Tendency as a Philosophy in Education

• Advocates of Sense Realism

* Mulcaster (1530-1611)

* Francis Bacon (1562-1623)

* Ratke (1571-1625)

* John Amos Comenius (1592-1670)


— His Life

— Comenius' Educational Psychology

— Aim of Education

* Organisation of Education

— The School System

— Special Teacher and Separate Room

— Working Time

— Class Instruction

— Textbooks

— The Curriculum

— The Methods of Instruction

— An Evaluation of Comenius

* Herbart Spencer (1820-1903)

— His Life Sketch

— An Educator Before a Philosopher

— Educational Views of Spencer

— Herbart's Theory of Ideas

— Aim of Education According to Spencer

— Curriculum According to Spencer

— Methods of Teaching According to Spencer

— Views of Spencer about Moral Education

— Views of Spencer About Physical Education

— Characteristics of Scientific Tendency

• Questions for Answer

10. Sociological Tendency in Education
(Social Realism, Behaviourism and Scientific Empiricismin Education) 265

• Introduction

• Social Philosophy

• Man, Natures, and Freedom

• Meaning of Sociological Tendency

• Comenius (1592-1671)

• Philosophy of Social Realism

• Lord Montaigne (1533-1552)

• Exponents of Sociological Tendency

• Rousseau (1712-1778)

* His Life

* Rousseau's Political and Social Theories

* Rousseau Gave Rise to a New Education

* His Naturalism and Education

* The Aim of Education


* The Emile

* The Stages of Development and Education

* The Education of the Girl

* A Criticism of the Emile

* Rousseau's Influence on Modern Education

• Tolstoy

• What Led to the Development of Sociological Tendency

• Characteristics of Sociological Tendency

• Impact of Sociological Tendency in Education

• Questions for Answer

11. Modern Humanism and Education (Philosophy of
Renaissance and Humanistic Realism in Education) 296

• Meaning of Humanism

• Ideals of Renaissance

• Philosophy of Humanistic Realism

* Humanist Scholars

* Milton (1608-1674)

• Erasmus and Humanism

• Tolstoy as a Humanist

• Evaluation of Humanist Education

• Philosophical Aspect of Modern Humanism

• Implications of Modern Humanism for Education

• Impact on Education in U.S.A. Tentative Goals

• The Broad Goals of Education

• Impact on Education in India Formulation of Suitable Educational Aims for Modern India

• Questions for Answer

12. Eclectic Tendency in Education (Synthesizing
All Educational Philosophies and Tendencies in Education) 326

• Eclectic Tendency and Modern Life

• Various Aims of Education

* 1. Knowledge Aim

* 2. Cultural Development Aim

* 3. Character Development Aim

* 4. Vocational Aim

* 5. Harmonious Development Aim

* 6. Citizenship Aim

* 7. The Complete Living Aim


* 8. Physical Development Aim

* 9. Leisure Utilization Aim

* 10. Adjustment Aim

* 11. Self-Expression as Aim

* 12. Self Realisation Aim

• Synthesizing Above Aims into an Eclectic Tendency Educational Aim

• Growth of Eclectic Tendency in Education

• Eclectic Tendency in Modern Education

• Questions for Answer

Bibliography 349

Index 370


1 Need for the Philosophical Foundations of Education

Progress of human civilization is the product of education, but the answer to every educational question is ultimately
influenced by our philosophy of life.

Philosophy against us with values in life and education tells us how these values can he realised, thus philosophy and
education are closely inter-related with each other, therefore, this chapter is devoted to bring to light some aspects of
philosophy which may be termed as foundations or basis of education.

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