Relation Between Philosophy and Education:
The earlier discussion clearly indicates that philosophical thoughts have a bearing on educational thoughts. Philosophy gives purpose and orientation to the educational endeavor of individuals, although it depends on education for its formulation and crystallization. While the goal of philosophy is to explain the baffling mysteries of the universe, the place of man in the universe, and the variegated problems created out of his wisdom and folly, the chief means of philosophy is “education”, which has been correctly described as the “dynamic side of philosophy”. Education is a practical activity of philosophical thought. Every educational practice is illuminated with the backdrop of philosophy. It is the philosophy that bestows on us the knowledge of “whither we are bound and whither we ought to be bound” by giving us an idea of values that figure so prominently in the choice of studies, school discipline, the methods and means of instruction, and school organization. This shows that there is hardly any problem that is not solved by the calm lights of philosophy.
Fichte, therefore, very rightly observed: “The art of education will never attain complete clearness without philosophy.” Spencer has gone a step ahead when he says that “true education is practicable only by true philosophers.” Ross does not distinguish very much between the two when he says, “Philosophy and Education are like the two sides of a coin which present different views of the same thing and that the one is implied by other.” John Dewey rightly remarked, “Philosophy is the theory of education in its most general phases.” If education is a set of techniques for imparting knowledge, skills, and attitudes, philosophy is the foundation to vitalize these. Philosophy is the foundation and education is the superstructure.
Without philosophy, education would be a blind effort, and without education, philosophy would be a cripple.
The following points will clearly show the interdependence of philosophy and education.
(1) Philosophy assists education in understanding man, his life, his actions, ideals, and problems.
(2) Philosophy determines what is worth living and education educates man to live the life that is worth living.
(3) Philosophy decides the goals of life and education equips one with the required means for achieving the said goals.
(4) Philosophy assists the educator in formulating beliefs, arguments, assumptions, and judgments concerning learning and teaching, character and intellect, subject matter, and skills, desirable ends, and appropriate means of schooling.
(5) Philosophy gives orientation to the purpose of education while education formulates and crystallizes it into a specific form.
(6) Philosophy indicates the values to be pursued in life and education inculcates such values in the educands.
(7) Philosophy assists education in giving unity of outlook to the diverse interests of the individual, his family, community, and state.
(8) Philosophy provides reasons with faith.
(9) Philosophy is the theoretical side while education is the practical side. Philosophy is the contemplative side while education is the dynamic side.
(10) Philosophy conceives the type of the individual and the society to be created and education strives to develop such individuals and society.
(11) Philosophy assists education in understanding man, his life, his actions, ideals, and problems. It clarifies and enlightens on many of the educational issues and problems.
(12) Philosophy provides necessary zeal and inspiration to the teachers in accomplishing the educational tasks, and in developing and adopting philosophy of education and life of their own. It also guides them to formulate worthwhile educational policies and programmes, to decide desirable ideals and aims of education, to develop constructive curriculum, methods of teaching, and administrative and organizational patterns of education.