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Philosophy is a determinant of what one thinks, values, or believes. Every individual has its own personal learning philosophy, but to learn one’s philosophy is not easy. It requires persistent reflection and a lot of work to reach and dig out the inner thoughts. Teaching and learning philosophy has emerged from values that are learned from several exposures and life experiences from parents, and teachers, and from my own experiences of working in connection to teaching. In this paper, I am presenting educational philosophies in the context of teachers, learners, the teaching process, and the learning environment that mainly affects the learning process.

Where does the philosophy of education take us? In the social, political, and cultural state of the present time, it can be disputed that our social perspective might be apprehended, and our political view will abase. In response to this, some philosophers of education have contended to unravel many theories and ideologies at work in the modern allegory such as the sequence of educational ascension, distribution of opportunity, and the power of measurement. Through this philosophy, we can have concrete fundamentals as a guideline for molding learners, and children learn best when they are taught under certain conditions and in certain ways. Some of these are having learners experiment with basic examples of the topic being taught. Children learn by doing, so the child has a better understanding of what is being taught. Another way that children may learn best is by working in a small group with other children. The task can be done faster and more thought out, and there is less stress on the child. By working in a small group, the children can come up with different ideas and strategies on how to solve a problem. This benefits the child because they learn to help others, as well as having others to help them.

The curriculum of any classroom should include certain ‘basics’ that contribute to children’s social, emotional, intellectual, and physical development. These basics are necessary because they all help the child learn in different ways. However, The philosophy of education has two contrasting aspects, looking both inward to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practice. This dual emphasis needs to work on both sides of the traditional apportion between theory and practice, taking as its subject matter both basic philosophical issues and more specific issues arising from educational practice, such as the desirability of standards. These practical issues in turn have implications for a variety of long-standing philosophical problems in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and political philosophy. In addressing these many issues and problems, the philosopher of education strives for conceptual clarity, argumentative rigors, and informed valuation.

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The most basic problem of the philosophy of education is that concerning aims: what are the proper aims and guiding ideals of education? What are the proper criteria for evaluating educational efforts, institutions, practices, and products? Many aims have been proposed by philosophers and other educational theorists; they include the cultivation of curiosity and the disposition to inquire; the fostering of creativity; the production of knowledge and of knowledgeable students; the enhancement of understanding; the promotion of moral thinking, feeling, and action; the enlargement of the imagination; the fostering of growth, development, and self-realization; the fulfillment of potential; the cultivation of “liberally educated” persons; the overcoming of provincialism and close-mindedness; the development of sound judgment; the cultivation of docility and obedience to authority; the fostering of autonomy; the maximization of freedom, happiness, or self-esteem; the development of care, concern, and related attitudes and dispositions; the fostering of feelings of community, social solidarity, citizenship, and civic-mindedness; the production of good citizens; the “civilizing” of students; the protection of students from the deleterious effects of civilization; the development of piety, religious faith, and spiritual fulfillment; the fostering of ideological purity; the cultivation of political awareness and action; the integration or balancing of the needs and interests of the individual student and the larger society; and the fostering of skills and dispositionsconstitutive of rationality or critical thinking.

One of the few educational philosophies is Perennialism, this philosophy aims to ensure that students acquire an understanding of the great ideas of Western civilization. These ideas have the potential to solve problems in any era. The focus is to teach ideas that are everlasting, to seek enduring truths that are constant, not changing, as the natural and human worlds at their most essential level, do not change. Perennialists believe that the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over centuries. They believe the ideas are as relevant and meaningful today as when they were written. Perennialists criticize the vast amount of discrete factual information that educators traditionally have required students to absorb. Perennialists urge schools to spend more time teaching about concepts and explaining how these concepts are meaningful to students. Perennialists decry undue reliance on textbooks and lectures to communicate ideas. Perennialists suggest that a greater emphasis be placed on teacher-guided seminars, where students and teachers engage in Socratic dialogues, or mutual inquiry sessions, to develop an enhanced understanding of history’s most timeless concepts. Although perennialism may appear similar to essentialism, perennialism focuses first on personal development, while essentialism focuses first on essential skills. Essentialist curricula thus tend to be much more vocational and fact-based, and far less liberal and principle-based. Both philosophies are typically considered to be teacher-centered, as opposed to student-centered philosophies of education such as progressivism. However, since the teachers associated with perennials are in a sense the authors of the Western masterpieces themselves, these teachers may be open to student criticism through the associated Socratic method, which, if carried out as true dialogue, involves a balance between teacher activity and student activity, with the teacher promoting discussion.

The perennialists, despite their many claims to the contrary, are advocates of a regressive social philosophy. They would have us solve our twentieth-century problems by turning back the clock to a system of belief prevalent in the thirteenth century. They would have us turn the clock back to a time when the source of authority was external to man and when a man stood in the very center of the universe;  to a time when the perennials would have us believe, that man was at a moral and spiritual peak from which he has since declined. The moral, intellectual, and spiritual reaction that the perennialists advocate is seen as coming, of necessity, from the church and the university.  Some people have criticized Perennialism due to its focus on historical references to Western Culture and thought. This is seen by many to be the teachings of predominantly white male philosophers since antiquity. According to such critics, perennialism is not representative of other cultures and/or women which in today’s world of education are so much more inclusive. Because of this, many people find problems with its Eurocentric philosophies. This is considered its biggest shortcoming by those who believe other cultures and sexes are under-represented in academia. According to the critics, for this form of educational philosophy to be pertinent today, it would require the perennial philosophy to be more inclusive, looking to other works in history that include the thoughts of women, as well as minority groups that are currently under-represented in today’s school of thought. Modern perennialists believe, however, that perennialism will eventually reflect both great thinkers that are both women and minorities of today for the generations to come; therefore ensuring perennialism will continue to survive and be pertinent in the years to come.

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