Meaning & Relationship between Philosophy and Education

Sun, 07/08/2012 - 12:03 -- Umar Farooq

Introduction to Relationship of Philosophy and Education

Education is the basic human need, and essential for a decent living and moral life. Without education the human society would be uncivilized and useless hum grouping, without any social, political, religious, and physical developments. Before discussing the relationship between philosophy and education first we would understand and what is education and then philosophy.

Definitions of Education

Education has been defined by various scholars according to their cultural and social set ups. The few definitions are as follows:

  1. Plato says, education is to develop physically and mentally a human being, in such a way that his / her potentialities could be realized.
  2. Aristotle says, education is the process though which a sound mind is developed in a sound body.
  3. According to Dewey education is the process to develop all the capabilities of a person as he/she could control his/her environment and fulfill his / her duties.
  4. Al Ghazali says, education is the process to enable an individual to know between true and false, good and bad, and right and wrong conducts.
  5. AlMaududi says, education is the process to bring the potential good in a man.

Definition of Philosophy

There is no exact definition of philosophy, but in general sense philosophy is considered as:

  • The love for wisdom
  • Relational approach to any phenomenon
  • To seek justification of something through rational interpretation

Relationship between Philosophy and Education

Philosophy and education are two different fields of studies but they are closely linked together, because without any rational thinking prior to education, the whole educational process is directionless. The relationship between philosophy and education is explained as follows:

1.  Aims & Objectives

Education in every society is directed for specific aims and objectives. That aims and objectives are set by a philosophical approach. For example the aims of Pakistani education are to develop socially and morally sound person on the principles of Islam. So our whole educational set up aim is the creation of that kind of person and that aim is set by Islamic Philosophy.

If Plato wants an ideal state so he uses education as an instrument and set aims and objectives to be achieved by his ideal educational plan.

2. Methods & Curriculum

Every educational system is based upon specific teaching methodologies and the curriculum. What should be the teaching methodology? And what kind of teacher should be? And what kind of curriculum be taught to the students? All the answers are given by philosophy. So education is dependent on philosophy for guidance in various of areas.

3. Philosophy of Education

There is a separate branch of philosophy which is called philosophy of education. The branch investigates that what should be the nature of education? Whether the educational aims be based on specific religion, social, moral, scientific basis. And how these aims can be achieved?

4. Education is the Dynamic Side of Philosophy

Here the great scholars like Ghazali, Iqbal, Plato, and Aristotle wanted that their philosophies should be given practical shape. The shape can be given only through well planned education system.

5. Sound mind in Sound Body or Virtuous Man

The main purpose of education is to have sound mind in a sound body, and virtuous person. Philosophy gives answers and discuss that what is sound mind, sound body, and what virtuous person is. How we can say the philosophy is the contemplative aspect of education and education is the dynamic aspect philosophy.

6. Change in Education, Culture and Society

In order to bring the desire change in society or in the existing education set up, a very pre-planned philosophy should be behind that kind of reformation. Like the western nations want reforms in our education system especially in maddarasa through induction of computer and other subjects. This is pre-planned program in order to divert the students’ attention from Quran, Hadith and Jehand lessons.

Relationship between education and philosophy is very close. They are called the two sides of the same coin. That’s why educationists and teachers must have basic information about various educational philosophies in order to know the whole nature of a specific educational ends.