Philosophy and education are closely related for philosophy is the basis of education. The strengths and weakness of philosophical system are explored in terms of their relations to education. Philosophy is made of two major divisions, namely; metaphysics and epistemology.
Metaphysics is a subdivision of philosophy which systematically analyzes the question of the ultimate reality. During the middle ages, metaphysis became the most important branch in philosophical concerns. Reality is determined by the individual experiences. All reality is reducible to one fundamental substance- “spirit”.
Epistemology is the branch in philosophy that is basic to the major difference between systems of philosophical thought. It is derived from the Greek word for knowledge and theory. Defined narrowly, epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. Epistemology is that part of philosophy that asks "what can we know?" "What can we be sure of?" "How do we get beyond mere opinion to real knowledge?"
The different schools of Philosophy which affect education are the following:
Idealism is perhaps the oldest system of philosophy. From ancient times until the modern era, idealism has been a dominant philosophical influence, and even though that influence has waned at times, it is still a major philosophy and stands as an alternative to our contemporary materialist culture. Generally, idealists believe that ideas are the only true reality. Idealist starts with idea and ends with a thing. Idealism deals with ‘mind and self. Idea is the real thing. Idealism applies to any theory which sees the universe as being made of mind or reason.
Realism is an attempt to portray life as it is. Realist believes that world is made of real, substantial material entities. It also believes that there is an objective reality apart from that which is presented to the consciousness. It starts with a thing and end up with the idea. In short, thing is more important than idea....
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