- He believed that the Guardians of the city (whether it be the intellectual guardians or the military guardians) must be educated.
- Disorder, or order, in the souls of the guardians originates from the education they receive. This disorder in their souls is the source of injustice in society.
- After admitting that men are physically stronger than women, he suggests that women are equal in their reasoning abilities and should be able to perform the same tasks in society as men. Therefore, they should receive the same type of education.
- He split up education into music and gymnastics and explained that the subjects that relate with music develop the soul and the subjects that relate with gymnastics develop the body. However, he explained we must understand that gymnastics develops the soul in some ways as well.
- Playing sports teaches us virtues such as perseverance and justice. Additionally, Socrates explained that young children should be thought through play rather than formal education.
- Socrates also believed that we must filter what is taught to the young philosophers. When they are young, students learn myths about the gods and the evils that they perform. Socrates believed that these kind of stories help disorder enter the souls of the young children. They must be told stories that teach that the gods only did good and never performed evil.
JOHN AMOS COMENIUS
- The most permanent influence exerted by Comenius was in practical educational work.
- He outlined a system of schools that is the exact counterpart of the existing American system of kindergarten, elementary school, secondary school, college, and university.
- Comenius formulated the general theory of education i.e. he was the first to formulate that idea of “education according to nature”.
- Comenius first applied or attempted to apply in a systematic manner the principles of thought and of investigation, to the organization of education in all its aspects. The summary of this attempt is given in the Didactica Magna.
- Books- Janua Linguarum Reserata (The Gate of Tongues Unlocked), issued in 1631. the Vestibulum, and a more advanced one, the Atrium, and other texts. In 1657 the Orbis Sensualium Pictus was published, probably the most renowned and most widely circulated of school textbooks. It was also the first successful application of illustrations to the work of teaching, though not, as often stated, the first illustrated book for children.
- These texts were all based on the same fundamental ideas:
ü learning foreign languages through the vernacular;
ü obtaining ideas through objects rather than words;
ü starting with objects most familiar to the child to introduce him to both the new language and the more remote world of objects:
ü giving the child a comprehensive knowledge of his environment, physical and social, as well as instruction in religious, moral, and classical subjects;
ü making this acquisition of a compendium of knowledge a pleasure rather than a task; and
ü making instruction universal.
- While the formulation of many of these ideas is open to criticism from more recent points of view, and while the naturalistic conception of education is one based on crude analogies, the importance of the Comenian influence in education has been recognized since the middle of the nineteenth century.
Education and child rearing
||‘The noblest work in education is to make a reasoning man, and we expect to train a young child by making him reason! This is beginning at the end; this is making an instrument of a result. If children understood how to reason they would not need to be educated.”–Rousseau, Emile.
Rousseau’s philosophy of education is not concerned with particular techniques of imparting information and concepts, but rather with developing the pupil’s character and moral sense, so that he may learn to practice self-mastery and remain virtuous even in the unnatural and imperfect society in which he will have to live.
The hypothetical boy, Émile, is to be raised in the countryside, which, Rousseau believes, is a more natural and healthy environment than the city, under the guardianship of a tutor who will guide him through various learning experiences arranged by the tutor. Today we would call this the disciplinary method of “natural consequences.”
Rousseau felt that children learn right and wrong through experiencing the consequences of their acts rather than through physical punishment. The tutor will make sure that no harm results to Émile through his learning experiences.
Rousseau was one of the first to advocate developmentally appropriate education; and his description of the stages of child development mirrors his conception of the evolution of culture.
He divides childhood into stages: the first is to the age of about 12, when children are guided by their emotions and impulses. During the second stage, from 12 to about 16, reason starts to develop; and finally the third stage, from the age of 16 onwards, when the child develops into an adult.
Rousseau recommends that the young adult learn a manual skill such as carpentry, which requires creativity and thought, will keep him out of trouble, and will supply a fallback means of making a living in the event of a change of fortune.
Rousseau was a believer in the moral superiority of the patriarchal family on the antique Roman model.
Sophie, the young woman Émile is destined to marry, as a representative of ideal womanhood, is educated to be governed by her husband while Émile, as representative of the ideal man, is educated to be self-governing. This is not an accidental feature of Rousseau’s educational and political philosophy; it is essential to his account of the distinction between private, personal relations and the public world of political relations.
The private sphere as Rousseau imagines it depends on the subordination of women, in order for both it and the public political sphere (upon which it depends) to function as Rousseau imagines it could and should. Rousseau anticipated the modern idea of the bourgeois nuclear family, with the mother at home taking responsibility for the household and for childcare and early education.
JOHANN HEINRICH PESTALOZZI
- Pestalozzi was a Romantic who felt that education must be broken down to its elements in order to have a complete understanding of it.
- He emphasized that every aspect of the child’s life contributed to the formation of personality, character, and reason based on what he learned by operating schools at Neuhof, Stans, Burgdorf and Yverdon.
- Pestalozzi’s educational methods were child-centered and based on individual differences, sense perception, and the student’s self-activity.
- In 1819, Stephan Ludwig Roth came to study with Pestalozzi, and his new humanism contributed to the development of the method of language teaching, including considerations such as the function of the mother tongue in the teaching of ancient languages.
- Pestalozzi and Niederer were important influences on the theory of physical education; they developed a regimen of physical exercise and outdoor activity linked to general, moral, and intellectual education that reflected Pestalozzi’s ideal of harmony and human autonomy.
- Pestalozzi’s philosophy of education was based on a four-sphere concept of life and the premise that human nature was essentially good.
- The first three ‘exterior’ spheres – home and family, vocational and individual self-determination, and state and nation – recognized the family, the utility of individuality, and the applicability of the parent-child relationship to society as a whole in the development of a child’s character, attitude toward learning, and sense of duty.
- The last ‘exterior’ sphere – inner sense – posited that education, having provided a means of satisfying one’s basic needs, results in inner peace and a keen belief in God.
Froebel’s Kindergarten Curriculum Method & Educational Philosophy
- Kindergarten was the first organized early-childhood educational method.
- As a keen observer of nature and humanity, Froebel approached human education from both a biological and a spiritual perspective.
- Froebel discovered that brain development is most dramatic between birth and age three, and recognized the importance of beginning education earlier than was then practiced.
- The number of innovations that Froebel pioneered through his research is startling, and includes multiple intelligences (different learning styles), play-based, child-centered, holistic education, parent involvement/training, educational paperfolding, use of music, games, and movement activities for education.
Humans Are Creative Beings
From a spiritual perspective, Froebel understood that what separates us from other life forms is that we alter our environment. More than simple tool-building, our brains allow us to visualize in 3-D and imagine a different future. True education therefore must help children to understand their role as creative beings.
Play Is the Engine of Real Learning
Froebel concluded that play is not idle behavior but a biological imperative to discover how things work. It is pleasurable activity, but biologically purposeful. Froebel sought to harness this impulse and focus a child’s play energy on specific activities designed to lead them to create meaning from their experiences.
The Froebel® Gifts are educational materials developed for Friedrich Froebel’s original Kindergarten. Perhaps the world’s most intricately conceived playthings, these materials appear deceptively simple, but represent a sophisticated approach to child development. The Gifts are arguably the first educational toys.
Froebel developed Spielgabe (“play gifts”) for his Kindergarten schools. They were so named because they were both given the child (to be properly respected as gifts) and also function as tools for adults to observe the innate human “gifts” each child posseses from birth.
One observes the remarkable qualities and innovative ideas that make each child unique when they have the opportunity to explore and create according to Froebel’s method. Froebel spent a great deal of time observing children and refining the design of the Gifts.
Social Darwinism in Education
- Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) was known as one of the leading Social Darwinists of the 19th century.
- As a Social Darwinist, Spencer helped gain acceptance of the theory of evolution which also became the basis for most of his books and teachings.
- The principle of evolution believed in the process whereby all things change from the simplest of forms to the most complex.
- It was Herbert Spencer who actually coined the phrase “survival of the fittest” which depicted a constant struggle amongst the species. As a result of this continual struggle, the stronger species survived and multiplied while the weaker species perished. His work “Synthetic Philosophy” applied this evolutionary process to all branches of knowledge specifically biology, psychology, sociology and ethics.
- Spencer was an agnostic who believed that the only way to gain knowledge was through a scientific approach. He felt that religion was a futile attempt to gain knowledge of the unknown.
- Spencer wanted to replace the theological systems of the Middle Ages with his philosophical system which stated that all knowledge could be placed within the framework of modern science.
- Science was the only way to gain “useful” knowledge. It was through this “scientific” knowledge that people learned to live in society.
- Spenser perceived society to be a progression of small homogeneous groups evolving into large complex groups over an extended period of time
- Spencer was a noted non-conformist who detested authority and strongly emphasized individualism.
- In Spencer’s work “Social Status”, he stated that individual freedom was extremely important and that the government should play a limited role in society especially in the schools.
- He did not believe in the public school system. His major criticism of the school system was that it did not prepare children to live in society.
- Instead, Spencer believed in the private school system which competed for the brightest students. Because of his belief in competition, conflict and struggle, Spencer felt that the most exemplary schools would eventually acquire the best teachers and students.
- Spencer, not surprisingly, stressed the importance of the sciences in the schools.
- Learning should be a sensory experience where a student interacts within his/her environment; a slow, gradual, and inductive process.
- Children should be encouraged to explore and discover which would allow them to acquire knowledge naturally.
- Education should also be a pleasant experience for children with the least restrictions possible.
- Rote memorization and recitation were strongly opposed.
- A student should only engage in those activities that would ultimately allow him/her to
- survive in society.
- Special emphasis was placed on the physical, biological, and social sciences while English grammar and literature were believed to be outdated.
- Spencer became one of the major proponents of modern curriculum theory. He created quite an uproar in England with his curriculum theory because the major focus of education continued to be the Latin and Greek languages and literature. In his work “What Knowledge is of Most Worth?” Spencer stated that this question needed to be answered before any curriculum was chosen or any instruction commenced.
- Once this question was answered, it should be made certain that the curriculum aid in advancing survival and progress.
- To achieve this advancement Spencer believed that there were five activities necessary in curriculum. These activities assisted in-self preservation, performance of occupations, child-rearing, social and political participation, recreation and leisure. Once again, the main goal was to teach subjects that would contribute to successful living.
- Education today continues to be influenced by Spencer’s Social Darwinist theories. In fact, his curriculum activities based on human needs are still being implemented in one form or another.
- Spencer’s works- “Principles of Biology” , “Principles of Psychology”, “Study of Sociology”
o Foundations of Education, Ornstein & Levine
o Educational Philosophy, Edward J. Power
o Educational Ideologies, William F. O’Neill
o Herbert Spencer on Education, Andreas M. Kazamias
Bertrand Russell helped to develop what is now called “Analytic Philosophy.” Russell suggested, held that in order to know any particular thing, we must know all of its relations. Russell argued that this would make space, time, science and the concept of number not fully intelligible. Russell and Moore were devoted to clarity in arguments by breaking down philosophical position into their simplest components. Russell, in particular, saw formal logic and science as the principal tools of the philosopher. He did not think we should have separate methods for philosophy. Russell thought philosophers should strive to answer the most general of propositions about the world and this would help eliminate confusions. In particular, he wanted to end what he saw as the excesses of metaphysics.
Religion and theology
For most of his adult life Russell maintained that religion is little more than superstition and, despite any positive effects that religion might have, it is largely harmful to people. He believed religion and the religious outlook serve to impede knowledge, foster fear and dependency, and are responsible for much of the war, oppression, and misery that have beset the world.
While Russell wrote a great deal on ethical subject matters, he did not believe that the subject belonged to philosophy or that when he wrote on ethics that he did so in his capacity as a philosopher. Russell himself did not construe ethical propositions as narrowly as the positivists, for he believed that ethical considerations are not only meaningful, but that they are a vital subject matter for civil discourse. Indeed, though Russell was often characterised as the patron saint of rationality, he agreed with Hume, who said that reason ought to be subordinate to ethical considerations.
Philosophy of science
Russell claimed that he was more convinced of his method of doing philosophy than of his philosophical conclusions. Science was one of the principal components of analysis. Russell was a believer in the scientific method, that science reaches only tentative answers, that scientific progress is piecemeal, and attempts to find organic unities were largely futile. He believed the same was true of philosophy. Russell held that the ultimate objective of both science and philosophy was to understand reality, not simply to make predictions.
Russell’s epistemology went through many phases. Once he shed neo-Hegelianism in his early years, Russell remained a philosophical realist for the remainder of his life, believing that our direct experiences have primacy in the acquisition of knowledge. While some of his views have lost favour, his influence remains strong in the distinction between two ways in which we can be familiar with objects: “knowledge by acquaintance” and “knowledge by description“.
Perhaps Russell’s most systematic, metaphysical treatment of philosophical analysis and his empiricist-centric logicism is evident in what he called logical atomism, which is explicated in a set of lectures, “The Philosophy of Logical Atomism,” which he gave in 1918. In these lectures, Russell sets forth his concept of an ideal, isomorphic language, one that would mirror the world, whereby our knowledge can be reduced to terms of atomic propositions and their truth-functional compounds. Logical atomism is a form of radical empiricism, for Russell believed the most important requirement for such an ideal language is that every meaningful proposition must consist of terms referring directly to the objects with which we are acquainted, or that they are defined by other terms referring to objects with which we are acquainted.
Philosophy of language
Russell made language, or more specifically, how we use language, a central part of philosophy
Views on Education
“Education should take a form that enables it to be available to all children or at least all children capable of benefiting from it. The education system we should aim for is one in which every boy and every girl are given the opportunity to attain the highest level of education in this world.”
Russell argues that, not only should all children be given equal opportunities to receive the best possible education, but individuals with special needs should be given specific education. He was aware of the danger of equal opportunity leading to inequality and the necessity of individual education where individuals with special needs were concerned.
Russell points out the dispute “whether education is for practicality or for embellishment; whether education should focus on technical skills that would train a merchant or a professional as quickly as possible. We are faced with the problem whether education shall aim for packing the children’s brains with practical knowledge or giving them intellectual treasures.” Russell’s answer to the question “whether education should be practical” is “of course it should,” because “the educational process is a means to an end, and not an end in itself.” He goes on to say, “the essence of practicality is that it benefits something that is not purely practical. A ‘good’ final result sometimes requires a long series of results.”
Education should aim for the happiness of each student. Therefore, Russell opposed dividing the society into practicality and embellishment. He argues that both types of knowledge should be provided. Children should acquire knowledge for material gain as well as knowledge for intellectual pleasure.
Education should have both utility and humanity as components.
Russell writes, “children are not the means but the purpose. Educators must love children more than the nation or the church. What is required of the educators and what the children should acquire is ‘knowledge dominated by love’.”
Russell is prescient in pointing out the importance of early education. He emphasizes the importance of the role of parents in that. In order for the education for happiness to work, the recipient of such education must be ready, too. The formation of a child’s characteristics starts at the point of birth. The role of parents as educators in the formative years is vitally important. It is the foundation and the first step of the education for happiness.