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Theory and Practice of Philosophy of Education


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Theory and Practice of Philosophy of Education

Introduction: Summary of the Issue and Purpose of Paper

Teachers are overwhelmed by demanding duties and responsibilities, which have associated challenges including, heavy workloads, large class sizes, and integrating technology. A teacher without a clear educational philosophy is likely to quit, become a poor performer, display negative demeanor, and merely work for the sake of the paycheck. Whereas philosophy is integral to education, there has been a disregard of this concept, which has resulted in the ineffective development of educational theories and practice. Evidently, there is a general concern on the dwindling effect of the philosophy of education as educational institutions are focusing on preparing teachers instead of fostering the holistic study of education. Thereby, as a critical philosophical problem of educational theory and practice, this paper examines philosophical problems via the lens of ineffective application of the philosophy of education in theory and practice.

Philosophical Problems from Educational Theory and Practice

Philosophy is all about critically analyzing theory and practice in an educational context as a fundamental step in reform and advancement, but this critical attribute is gradually losing face. Training institutions have seemingly placed more emphasis on passing on knowledge as opposed to instilling paramount critical skills for analytical and logical purposes. As a result, such training produces educators who do not adequately comprehend the nature of philosophy in education. When asked about individual educational philosophies, educators fail to provide strategic and systematic responses displaying conviction and clarity (Mays 303-304). Hence, there is an improper application of philosophy for education as individuals fail to link philosophy and education, as explained by Guilherme (3-4). Educators do not apply the needed critical thinking and reflection skills to guide their profession; thus, educational theory and practice are perceived as routines that do not undergo improvement.

The poor comprehension of the philosophy of education is attributed to inappropriate guidance by philosophers of education who have paved the way for external forces. Consequently, this has distorted the philosophy of education and created a rift with the field of education. The philosophical community is engrossed in the philosophy that there is no room for education. Similarly, educators focus on education and fail to acknowledge philosophy, resulting in the fall out between education and community (Guilherme 10-12). Also, there is discordance in the viewing of the philosophy of education, further escalating the divide between philosophy and education.

Whereas the philosophy of education is believed to produce effective and reliable teachers, it is argued that personalized philosophical statements conflict with philosophy as a discipline and courses in philosophy of education. Sequentially, they contrast John Dewey’s proposition that each educator should have their own educational philosophy (Mays 303). Educators, thereby, choose to focus on practice and fail to acknowledge the philosophical aspect of education that acts as the bedrock for the formulation of educational theory and subsequent practice. Philosophy is unique and methodical; hence its critical approach is not congruent with that of other disciplines in reference to the use of questions and explanations (Ferreira et al. 5). Thereby, without a clear link as to how philosophy and education can blend, the gap between education and philosophy will linger on, creating a deficit in the effective use of both philosophy and education.

The philosophy of teaching in western contexts is more established compared to third-world countries, which have been seemingly left out of the equation. The result is a system where teachers endure their careers and do not understand the teaching profession. Kanga (123-126) delineates that the teacher in a third-world country carries out their duties for the sake of money and not because they understand their profession. While there is a focus on distinct guidelines that direct teaching practice, a lack of understanding of teacher engagement in educational practice could be the reason for the occurrence of counterproductive practices in education. For example, teachers promote cheating and sexually harass students, as reported in third-world countries (Kanga 124). Such asymmetry in the adoption of the philosophy of education in the world could explain the variation in social, economic, and political development across nations.

Contrary to philosophical underpinnings, the use of standardized educational frameworks indicates the inadequate application of the philosophy of education to guide theory and practice. Williams (92) argues that a large proportion of schools focus on implementing common core standards and standardized tests and examinations. On the downside, they do not focus on individual interests and abilities of children that should be the basis for teaching theory and practice in yielding effective educational outcomes.

Possible Outcomes

The various philosophical issues discussed above present various outcomes that render education theory and practice ineffective. Failure to train educators in proper integration of the philosophy of education into theory and practice creates educators who do not adequately comprehend their profession Kanga (123-126). Not applying critical thinking skills and reflection in the development of educational theory and expertise does not produce self-reliant individuals, which is an anticipated outcome of effective teaching and learning. The ineffective application of philosophy in educational theory and practice fails to produce dedicated coursework and reliable experts.


The discussion presented herein is clear about the importance of philosophy in education to attain sustainable development in this sector. Thereby, learning institutions should be at the forefront in advocating for the essence of philosophy in education while training teachers. Otherwise, not only are educational theory and practice at a disadvantage but the wellbeing of the entire world as well. When education is based on philosophical schemas, teachers can pass on the same to their students who will be deployed in various sectors of political, social, and economic development.

Works Cited

Ferreira, Carlos Amauri, et al. “Challenges of Philosophy: Teaching Practice in High          School.” Educação em Revista, vol. 34, 2018, pp. 1-20.

Guilherme, Alexandre Anselmo. “Philosophy of Education: Contemporary Critical Issues.”           Foro de Educación, vol. 16, no. 24, pp. 1-5.

Kanga, Anne W. Handbook of Research on Global Issues in Next-Generation Teacher       Education. Edited by Jared Keengwe. IGI Global, 2016.

Mays, Chance D. The Handbook of Dewey’s Educational Theory and Practice. Edited by             Charles L. Lowery and Patrick M. Jenlik, Bill NV, 2019.

Williams, Morgan K. “John Dewey in the 21st Century.” Journal of Inquiry & Action in    Education, vol. 9, no. 1, 2017, pp. 91-102.