Scope and Nature of Philosophy of Education

Scope and Nature of Philosophy of Education:

Philosophy of education is an important branch of applied philosophy. It falls within the domain of axiology. It utilizes philosophical conclusions. The following points explain its nature and scope. The scope of the philosophy of education is very wide. It is concerned with the problems of education and the applicability of the theories of education in teaching work. The scope of the philosophy of education includes the following:

(1) Problems of Education- The main problems of the philosophy of education include aims and ideals of education, analysis of human nature, the relationship of education and state, educational values, theory of knowledge and its relationship to education, economic systems and education, the place of school in the educational system, the curriculum and the process of education and finally the relationship of education and social progress.

(2) Evaluation of the Aims of Education- The aims of education fall under the scope of the philosophy of education. The philosophy of education evaluates critically the different aims of education held and propagated from time to time to arrive at the most cogent aim of education. It must be noted here that philosophy is concerned with the general and universal aim rather than any specific and particular aim of education. It aims at presenting a synthesis of various aims and ideals of education.

(3) Curriculum and Methods of Teaching- The philosophy of education helps in understanding the nature of curriculum and the suitability of methods of teaching. It also helps in understanding whether the curriculum should be flexible or rigid and whether it should be the same for all students.

It also determines whether the curriculum be book-centered or activity-centered. It not only decides the nature of the curriculum but also determines which teaching methods are suitable at which stage of education. Since the philosophy of education sets the goals of education as such, in the light of these goals the methods of teaching various subjects and activities are decided.

(4) Educational Values- The most important part of the philosophy of education is formed by the educational values. Educational values are determined by philosophical values. Educational values held by different philosophers have been derived from their worldviews. Therefore, a scrutiny of the worldviews which is the specific function of philosophy, is necessary for any treatment of philosophical values. The philosophical treatment of values not only evaluates but also systematizes them in a hierarchy.

(5) Concept of Discipline- The philosophy of education also clarifies the meaning of discipline and freedom in the context of the school and provides guidelines for disciplining the students taking into consideration the concept of human freedom in a democratically oriented society.

(6) Relationship of Knowledge and Philosophy- Education deals with knowledge. It is determined by the source, limits, criteria, and means of knowledge. This falls within the jurisdiction of epistemology, an area of philosophy. Therefore, an important area of the functioning of the philosophy of education is concerned with the theory of knowledge. The criteria for deciding the relationship of state and education, economic system and education. curriculum, discipline, etc. is the most important service of the philosophy of education rendered to the cause of education everywhere.

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