The Historical Philosophers


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The philosophy of education   is the study of processes, nature, purpose, ideas and nature of education. Philosophy of education falls into the contented of social institutions   and human existential growth from a broader perspective. This is therefore a way of   understanding the world around us and how it is constantly transforming through cognitive, emotional and physical transgressions. The current educational pedagogy and practices are attributed to the works of philosophers. These philosophers come from various schools of thought like the scholasticism school of thought, pragmatics school of thought realism school of thought and idealism school of thought.

Plato is one of the philosophers who have influenced modern data education. He was among the earliest philosopher who existed in the world and fell under the idealism school of thought.  His education philosophy was based on his ideal republic vision where by a person is determined by his role in the society. A child according to the philosopher is considered to be a state ward and he advocated that young children can be taken away from their mother and train them into military people to serve the state.  He also put across education should be provided to the children depending on the caste they feel in the society.  The highest education to be provided to children for the rich and rulers of the nation. Education according to Plato should also be holistic which should include music, art, physical disciplines and skills and fact of highest Endeavor.

John Locke from the realism school of thought. He gave his thoughts concerning education. He believed that human mind is made of education and without education the mind is like an empty cabinet. Locke also believed that the mind of a young child take in a lot of implications which last for a life time. This means that he believed that the human mind at a tender age has the ability to be educated and it is childhood education that makes one whole.

From the scholastic school of thought, John Milton contributed to religious education as was the nature of education during the medieval period. His main concern was on   the transcendental truths which would make a person return back to God through making religious and moral choices. These truths according to Milton were dialectic.  Milton is attributed to the changes he made on   the medieval curriculum. The kind of education which exited in this period was not successful or pleasing according to Milton. The main aspects he pointed out that the grammar which took a lot of years to master. He instead proposed that after one of studying grammar children should   they could have their own way of internalizing other grammatical aspects by the extensive reading they will do on great literature’s.

B. F Skinner 1904-90 made greater contributions to the philosophy of education.  in his article the  Walden  Two  he  explores the shortcomings  of education and the  society because the two are intricately related to one another . His ideas on precision teaching and direct teaching methods are his main ideas which have influenced modern day education. Also he examines social engineering through his behaviorists theories. Procession teaching is a concept which assumes that the learners know best. Skinner is also credited for his operant conditioning which shows that human behavior because we know of consequences of our actions (Noddings, 2006).


Noddings, N (2006) Philosophy of education, Publisher Westview Press, pp 90

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