Philosophy of education

The education is a type of training given in a practical and methodological through which a person can grow and develop. It is a very important process by means of which a series of tools and knowledge are given to the human being so that they can then be put into practice. The philosophy also applies in this field and seeks to reflect on all educational processes , the systems of education and methods of teaching education .

What is the philosophy of education?

The philosophy of education is the branch of philosophy that attempts to reflect on the processes in the educational field to achieve in this way understand the relationship that exists between the phenomenon of education and how it can have an influence on the society .

  • History
  • Characteristics of the philosophy of education
  • Beginning
  • Questions answered by the philosophy of education
  • goals
  • Features
  • Currents
  • Authors
  • Books
  • Importance of the philosophy of education
  • Examples


The history of the philosophy of education goes back to very ancient times, when Plato and Aristotle elaborated a series of theories that were related to the way in which the human being was educated as well as theories to establish what was the best way to be able to educate children, so that later they could be part of society. In the Middle Ages and with the emergence of Christianity , many authors dedicated themselves to establishing a series of educational theories based on philosophical and theological ideas .

With the arrival of the Renaissance and the Modern Age , the philosophical theories related to education took on greater importance and little by little they developed more. Authors such as Comenius , John Locke , Immanuel Kant and others, made a series of important reflections related to education and the educational method in order to try to perfect the human being both as an individual and as a member of a society. During the 20th century , the philosophy of education has taken on vital importance and has found a series of fields to be applied, thus improving the educational system in general.

Characteristics of the philosophy of education

Among the main characteristics of this branch of philosophy are the following:

  • It uses a series of philosophical methodologies for its correct elaboration.
  • Its methodology is applied within the educational field .
  • It is a type of theoretical discipline that includes a series of philosophical roots .
  • It is considered as a type of theological knowledge in the educational field.
  • In addition to studying education, he also conducts studies on individuals and the process used to teach.


The principles of the philosophy of education are various and are in constant change and debate. The main principles are mentioned below.

  • Systemic nature: it refers to the fact that the philosophy of education has a multifunctional character and that its elements are related to each other, so when one of them changes, the rest are affected.
  • Multifunctional nature : philosophical aspects related to education are taken into account, seeing the educational phenomenon as an object of investigation .
  • Historical nature : it is related to the social field where educational philosophy is developed, since this is a conditioning factor that manages to determine the model to be followed by the individual to improve education.
  • Humanism : refers that all education systems highlight the ideal of the human being within society and establish the factors that can influence their formation.
  • Totalizing conceptual reflection : in this case, it explains how to put into practice the multifunctionality of the theories, managing to create a professional model for the actions of educators so that they can achieve all the objectives that have been established by a policy.

Questions answered by the philosophy of education

The philosophy of education attempts to answer a series of philosophical questions, including the following:

  • Etymologically speaking, what is education?
  • Who is the main subject of education?
  • For what and why do we educate ourselves?
  • What does it mean to teach or educate?
  • What things are to be taught?


The main objective of studying the philosophy of education is teaching-learning . It tries to develop a doctrine that can facilitate the work of professionals in the field of education so that they can understand and use a series of anthropological and ethical implications in their work in order to improve practice. In addition, it prepares a critical and systematic reflection on the educational process in order to obtain conclusions that are easy to understand and in this way to improve and solve all the problems that may arise in the process and in theeducational practice .


The philosophy of education has several functions. First, it has an anthropological function through which a series of answers can be established to questions such as: What are we? Can we educate ourselves? What is the essence of the human being? This type of function is related to all those mechanisms that are used within the educational process . Another of its functions is epistemological and methodological through which the knowledge and language used in education can be based.

A function epistemological also are other functions such as perform analysis of the language which is used by teachers, to clarify the reasoning and judgments on education and value the different types of models Anthropological which arise different types of theories of education.

Finally, the philosophy of education has an axiological function which refers to the value system that must be included within the teaching and learning process, thus showing which are the norms of action within education that must be followed. .


Among the philosophical currents of the philosophy of education we can find Idealism , which is based on ideas and also considers that education must have the ability to motivate the student in order to direct his life towards rational morality and also points out that the teacher must play a role of model in the life of the student so that he can seek truth, justice and be virtuous.

Another current is the realism that considers that the reality of the world can be perceived through the senses and that the primary purpose of education is to be able to achieve the happiness of the individual which can be achieved using wisdom and prudence. .

The naturalism meanwhile also part of the currents and states that the teacher is a guide for the child which in turn must follow a learning process naturally so you can develop your senses. The pragmatism indicates that the sole purpose of education is to be able to socialize the individual and the school should act as a laboratory where children prepare to face life and problems that may arise in it.


Some important authors of the philosophy of education are:

  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Aristotle


Some books where you can get important information related to the philosophy of education are:

  • TW Moore’s Philosophy of Education
  • What is the philosophy of education? By Hortensia Cuéllar Pérez
  • Philosophy of education of V. Letelier
  • Philosophy of education by Guillermo Hoyos Vásquez

Importance of the philosophy of education

Its importance lies in the fact that the philosophy of education is a method or process that seeks the way to observe and understand the educational reality that exists in the classrooms and at the same time tries to explain it by studying its objectives, foundations, needs and limits, which causes an important change to be generated within educational thinking . It is a science that can, through a series of theory , improve teaching practice and improve educational processes to improve teaching at the same time.


Some examples are mentioned below:

  • New study methodologies for students.
  • Planning to improve the learning system.
  • Study of student behavior.

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