Welcome to the 3rd Edition of our education philosophy blog. However, before we go into our discussion for this session, it would be relevant that we do a brief recap and review of our previous blogs.
In our 1st Edition, we were given an in-depth introduction and explanation of what my philosophy of education was centered on, which is, ‘training in knowledge and for Purposeful service.’ I would also like to remind us here that this write-up, is entirely based on my perspective and my experience gleaned from thirty years as a classroom teacher. (Please refer to this blog for more information).
Our 2nd Edition was focused on education, and how education as the vehicle for which teaching and learning can occur, and thus, through which knowledge is imparted, holds an important position in our discussion. Therefore, we learned here that education as an ideology and as a tool plays a huge role in training in knowledge and for Purposeful service.’ For this reason, it was most beneficial that we surveyed the role, purpose, and meaning of education and how this nicely tied into my philosophy of teaching and learning. (Please refer to this blog for more information).
I genuinely hope you gleaned something new from reading both editions? Above all, I hope you have been having a relaxing and fun time perusing through the contents on this blog site and gaining the vital and living nuggets necessary for your upliftment.
This now brings me to the 3rd Edition of our discussion. In this edition, we will be investigating certain competing education world views.
Furthermore, I will be engaging my thoughts, beliefs, and views on a wider scale as it affects the world and life in general, and the role my proposed philosophy of education would play in my perceived worldview, and philosophy of life, and how they are connected or related to other existing world views and philosophies.
At this point just a little heads up about how this edition will be delivered.
This edition will be done in two parts. The first part is scheduled for the first six weeks, which would start from now to the end of June. The second part will be published God willing first week of July.
Thank you once again and enjoy the journey!!
Competing Education Worldviews and Philosophies
It is a known fact that any system of education in its entirety is embedded in a given or specific civilization(s) (Beard, 1936), and thus born, out of, a precise form and substance taken from certain worldviews. “A worldview precisely is said to be a self-oriented intellectual contemplation or perspective of life, the world, or the universe. It is a particular philosophy of life, a concept of the world held by an individual or group.”(Ken Funk, n.d.).
A Myriad of philosophies and worldviews have paraded themselves down the corridors of education through the centuries. Worldviews and philosophical views such as idealism, realism, Neo-Scholasticism, humanism, pragmatism, and Christian- Theism just to dwell on a few, have all held their various stances on affecting education.
They have come to realize that they can effectively train mankind in knowledge and the kind of service they look to render, whether in the negative sense of it or positively.
What do these words and philosophical views postulate and how do they reflect themselves in the education of man?
The first worldview under survey is Idealism. This worldview upholds the realm of ideas as opposed to the material world. It goes on to state that truth lies only in this realm and that reality was only conceivable in the realm of ideas existent in the mind. In this realm, it holds that you can access absolute morals, good, beauty, and perfection that are beneficial to human nature. (Brennen, 1999).
Realism on the other hand dwells on the existentialism of the material world as the only source of factual truth and reality. These facts and truths can only be made known through scientific experimentation. Therefore, it is only what can be directly experienced or observed that can be termed as realistic and true.
In so doing the truth about human life is to be found in the relations between people and the world in which they live, and that people become what all the forces of society including there will make them. (Anchor, 1983).
Neo-Scholasticism is born from what is termed theistic – realism as propagated by Thomas Aquinas, in which he combines Christianity with Aristotelian concepts in the writing of his Summa Theologiae.
This holds the Biblical theological view of God as the Supernatural Supreme Being and creator of the universe who is Spirit and can only be perceived through faith and channeled through the human spirit and soul which is immaterial and deathless but not necessarily through the intellect.
They argue that the intellect is the defining tool man utilizes as a rational being to gain a sensory experience of the world in which he lives. (Gutek, 1994).
Humanism comes with a view that does not conceive or acknowledge the existence of the supernatural or its connection with nature as stated by the Humanist Manifesto III which holds that “Knowledge of the world is derived by observation, experimentation, and rational analysis.”
“Also that humans are an integral part of nature, the result of the unguided evolutional change, thus nature is self-existing; life is accepted as all and enough.”(Anonymous, 2011). Therefore, man can only derive fulfillment and make sense of the world through experiences and ways he chooses to relate and interact with the world and fellow human beings.
In Pragmatism the philosophical worldview is derived from the practicality of actions, and consequences of experiences. Thus, propagating doctrines such as “If it works, use it.” Where there is a will, there is a way. Results are what count. The test for truth is the individual himself.”(Brennen, 1999).
The last ideological worldview and philosophy I would like to talk about are Christian- Theism. Annick M. Brennen in her paper titled Philosophy of Education describes and defines Christian- Theism stating, “The essence of Christian Theism is that a supreme being called God exists. He is the creator, in control of humans’ destiny, and humans are accountable to Him. He gives meaning to life and is personal in His relationship and dealings with humans. He is worthy of worship because in His creation He has made provisions to take care of all humans” (Brennen, 1999).
To be continued……