Philosophy of Education Past Question



  • What is Philosophy?
  • The Origin of Philosophy
  • The Scope
  • Characteristics of Philosophy
  • Importance of Studying Philosophy
  • Branches of Philosophy
  • Logic and Fallacies





Origin of Philosophy

  • The word philosophy originated from the two Greek words ‘Philo’ meaning love and ‘Sophia’ meaning
  • Philosophy is therefore literally translated as the love of wisdom.
  • It refers to the search for wisdom, truth, or fact and the relationship among ideas.
  • The man who engages himself in this effort is called a philosopher.
  • In the words of Plato, he who has a taste for every sort of knowledge and who is curious to learn and is never satisfied may be termed aPHILOSOPHER.


  • Generally, there is no single universally accepted definition of the term philosophy.
  • Schofield simply refers to philosophy as the process of asking questions.
  • Gyekye (1996) sees philosophy as a rational, critical and systematic inquiry into the fundamental ideas underlying human activities.
  • Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language.



  • Philosophy begins with intellectually credible questions but it does not provide readily verifiable answers to those questions.
  • It also uses methodological or systematic procedures to arrive at the truth.
  • The most outstanding method of philosophy is
  • Whatever conclusions that emerge from philosophical inquiry should be regarded as
  • Every philosophical truth is dependent on time, place or environment.
  • Curiosity, wonder and doubt constitute the foundation of all philosophical endeavors.
  • It is an intellectual discipline which requires critical thinking.
  • Philosophers give a thoughtful meditative attention to microscopic issues. Thus, they do not hastily brush over or ignore issues.
  • Philosophers demand self-awareness and also call for open-mindedness, objectivity, fairness in examining issues that confront man.
  • Four ingredients of philosophy are: Speculations, Analysis, Synthesis, and Evaluation.


  • Allow the spirit of wonder to flourish in your breast
  • Doubt every claim you encounter unless the evidence convinces you of its truth
  • Love the truth
  • Divide and conquer
  • Collect and construct
  • Conjecture and refute
  • Revive and rebuild
  • Seek simplicity
  • Live the truth
  • Live the good.



  1. The study of Philosophy enables us to think carefully and clearly about important issues.
  2. In philosophy, we learn to take a step back from our everyday thinking and to explore the deeper, bigger question which underpins our thought.
  3. The focus in the study of Philosophy is to learn not what to believe, but how to think.
  4. Studying philosophy sharpens your analytical abilities, enabling you to identify and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses in any position.
  • It enhances your ability to construct and articulate cogent arguments of your own.
  • 6. It prompts you to work across disciplinary boundaries and to think flexibly and creatively about problems which do not present immediate solutions.
  • 7. Because philosophy is an activity as much a body of knowledge, it also develops your ability to think and work independently.

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  • There are three (3) principal branches or divisions of philosophy. These are;
  • Metaphysics
  • Epistemology
  • Axiology (ethics).


  • The term metaphysics is an English translation of the Greek expression “ta meta physica” which means “things beyond the physical realm”.
  • It seeks to understand the nature of the world (universe).
  • It tries to understand the world and what it is made up of (cosmology). Metaphysics answers questions like;
  • Who am I ?
  • What is the composition of the sun, moon, stars?
  • Does God really exist? Who created God?
  • Who created man? What is man-made of?
  • What happens after death?


  • It is the study of the general theory of values or general value of things.
  • It deals with what is good or bad, right or wrong, ugly or beautiful etc.
  • axiology studies three areas namely
  • Ethics
  • Aesthetics
  • Logic


  • Ethics is known as moral philosophy.
  • It deals with judgement of righteousness and wrongness, goodness or badness, virtues and vices.
  • In short, this branch observes the principles of conduct which help to judge whether an action is right or wrong.
  • Ethics examines what is moral or good behavior.
  • What is right? Who determines what is right?
  • Is right the same everywhere?
  • What is wrong?
  • Can there be a perfect man?


  • Aesthetics is concerned with beauty: example painting, taste, art and drawings.
  • It analyses beauty and ugliness, their characteristics and standards of measuring the two concepts that is taste and appreciation.
  • what is ugly?
  • Is beauty universal or lies in the eyes of the beholder?
  • Is there bases for organizing beauty contest?
  • What do we mean by beauty? Is there inner and outer beauty?
  • Can we ever have objective judges of art?



  • Logic deals with the rules and techniques of reasoning.
  • It applies the scientific method of inquiry through inductive and deductive reasoning.
  • It further refers to the ability to test arguments for logical consistency, understand the logical consequences of certain assumptions, and distinguish the kind of evidence a philosopher is using.
  • Logical thinking or inferences, imagination or supposition are considered under this division of axiology.
  • It is used to distinguish good arguments from bad ones.

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  • It comes from the Greek word episteme, meaning “knowledge.
  • This branch of philosophy engages in critical examination of the nature, sources, scope, validity and limit of human knowledge.
  • What do we know?
  • How did we know what we know?
  • How do I know that I know?
  • Is truth absolute?
  • Where does knowledge come from?
  • Can we forget what we know?
  • Why do we forget what we know?




  • They believe that it is possible to know.
  • They assert that one can know and that their knowledge is real.
  • This is usually held by religious faiths such as Muslims and Christians.


  • The Fallibilists asserts that man is fallible and therefore is likely to be incorrect in our knowledge or judgments.
  • So the fallibilists are not certain whether we can have absolute truth or solid factual knowledge.


  • The skeptics believe that to know is impossible.
  • They claim that we simply do not know and cannot know for certain.
  • They have the questioning attitude towards the possibility of having any knowledge.
  • To them, “man knows not and knows not that he knows not”



  • The Agnostics are not sure whether they know or not.
  • If you ask them whether man knows or not, their reply is that we do not know.
  • Does God exist? Their reply will be “we do not know”.
  • They are neither Dogmatists or Skeptics.


Type of knowledge is determined by how they are received or their sources. Some of these sources are

  • Empirical Knowledge/ Scientific knowledge
  • Revealed knowledge/divine knowledge
  • Intuitive knowledge
  • Rational knowledge
  • Authoritative/Expert knowledge

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Revealed Knowledge

  • This type of knowledge is obtained from God and other supernatural or ultimate realms.
  • This knowledge is normally revealed to the prophets, priests and other recipients through visions, dreams, revelations and trances.
  • The problems with this type of knowledge are that;
  • It is not open to observation and cannot be subjected to empirical test.
  • This type of knowledge cannot be proven by mere logic and reasoning.


  • Empirical or Scientific Knowledge

  • This knowledge is derived from observing things around our senses-seeing, touching, feeling, smelling and tasting.
  • Educators can help their learners obtain this knowledge through excursions or field trips to encourage students get hands-on experience.
  • It is a body of ordered knowledge that is received from research.


  • Authoritative/Expert Knowledge

  • This type of knowledge is obtained from someone known to be a specialist in any field of knowledge who has written or posited a theory. Ideas expressed by experts such as Charles Darwin, Aristotle, Galileo etc. on their various domains.

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  • Intuitive Knowledge

  • This type of knowledge emanates from the ability to understand or know something momentarily through feeling or instinct rather than facts. It refers to the ability of a person to make a quick guess. It lacks convincing explanation. It is non-intellectual but very good for innovations and creativity.


  • Rational Knowledge

  • This knowledge is acquired through the use of thinking or reasoning faculties. The rationalist believe that the authentic knowledge should first come from the mind. The main method of rational knowledge is Inference (Deductive and Inductive).
  • The mathematical subjects are examples of rational knowledge.


  • Logic is the systematic study of the rules for the correct use of these supporting reasons, rules we can use to distinguish good arguments from bad ones.
  • Most of the great philosophers from Aristotle to the present have been convinced that logic permeates all other branches of philosophy.
  • The ability to test arguments for logical consistency, understand the logical consequences of certain assumptions, and distinguish the kind of evidence a philosopher is using are essential for “doing” philosophy.

What is a fallacy?

  • A logical fallacy or fallacy for short is an argument that contains a mistake in reasoning. mistaken belief, especially one based on unsound argument.
  • A failure in reasoning that renders an argument invalid.


  • Examples of Logical Fallacies are;

  • Personal Attack (Ad Hominen)
  • Attacking the Motive
  • Look Who’s Talking (Tu Quoque, /tu kwoʊkwɛ/ )
  • Scare Tactics/Appealing to force

Other Examples of Fallacy

  • Appeal to Pity
  • Bandwagon Argument
  • Begging the Question
  • Inappropriate appeal to authority
  • Appeal to ignorance
  • Loaded questions/complex question
  • Questionable cause/False cause
  • Hasty generalization

Questionable Cause/False cause

  • Presuming that a real or perceived relationship between things means that one is the cause of the other.
  • This fallacy occurs when an arguer gives insufficient evidence for a claim that one thing is the cause of another.
  • You should recognize the following instances of Questionable Cause:
  • Post hoc fallacy
  • Mere correlation fallacy
  • Oversimplified cause fallacy

Loaded Question:

  • Asking a question that has an assumption built into it so that it cannot be answered without appearing guilty.
  • This fallacy is committed when an arguer asks a question that contains an unwarranted assumption.
  • Have you stopped smoking?
  • When did you stop beating your wife?
  • Where did you hide the body?
  • Why do you always act like a total jerk whenever you’re around my ex-boyfriend?
  • Did you write this immoral trash?
  • This type of fallacy involves presupposition

Ad Hominem

  • This fallacy is committed when the arguer ignores the merits of his/her opponent’s argument, and rather makes some reference to the arguer himself/herself, and assumes that this somehow discredits the argument.
  • Attacking your opponents character or personal traits in an attempt to undermine his/her argument.
  • Poisoning the well – presenting adverse information about a target person with the intention of discrediting everything that the target person says.
  • Appeal to motive – dismissing an idea by questioning the motives of its proposer.
  • Tone policing– focusing on emotion behind a message rather


Other Forms of Ad Hominem

  • Ad Hominem: Abusive
  • When the arguer verbally abuses his/her opponent, rather than addressing their argument.
  • Ad Hominem Circumstantial
  • When the arguer, rather than addressing their opponent’s argument, merely points out that their opponent’s circumstances may be influencing their position.
  • Ad Hominem Tu Quoque
  • When A argues that some activity is wrong, and B responds by merely pointing out that A executes that activity him/ herself.


Hasty Generalization:
  • This fallacy occurs when an arguer draws a general conclusion from a sample that is either biased or too small. A biased sample is one that is not representative of the target population.
  • The target population is the group of people or things that the generalization is about.
  • Hasty generalizations can often lead to false stereotypes.
  • I’ve met three Chinese and they all smoke cigarette. My conclusion is that all Chinese are cigarette smokers.

Ad Populam (Mass Opinion) or Bandwagon

  • When arguer appeals to bandwagoning, snobbery, or fear of being different than the majority in order to influence the arguee.
  • Appealing to popularity or the fact that many people do or say something as an attempted form of validation.

Appeal to Ignorance:

  • The arguer asserts that a claim must be true because no one has proven it false, or conversely, the arguer asserts that a claim must be false because no one has proven it98/ to be true.
  • There must be intelligent life on other planets. No one has proven that there isn’t. There isn’t any intelligent life on other planets. No one has proven that there is.

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Why is this an appeal to ignorance?

  • Both claims suffer from the basic flaw that they assume that the lack of evidence for (or against) the claim is good reason to believe that the claim is false (or true).


Inappropriate Appeal to Authority:
  • Using the opinion or position of an authority figure or institution of authority in place of an actual argument.
  • This fallacy occurs when an arguer cites an authority who, there is good reason to believe, is unreliable. You should recognize the following instances of inappropriate appeals to authority:
  • When the source cited is not a genuine authority on the subject under consideration.
  • When there is reason to believe that the source is biased.
  • When the accuracy of the source’s observations is questionable. When the source cited (e.g. a media source, reference work, or Internet source) is known to be generally unreliable.






  • Origin of the Term Education
  • What is Education?
  • What is Philosophy of Education?
  • Some philosophical definitions of Education
  • Determinants of Philosophy of Educ.
  • Implications/Significance of the Study of Philosophy of Education to the Classroom Teacher


  • The Term education owes its origin to the two Latin words: ‘Educare’ and ‘Educere’.
  • Educare’- means ‘to nourish’, ‘to bring up’, ‘to raise’
  • Educere’- means ‘to bring forth’, ‘to draw out’, ‘to lead out’.
  • Educatum’- means- ‘the act of teaching and training’.
  • “Education therefore consists of leading out the innate knowledge, virtues, and powers of the child, making the potential actual”


  • Aristotle “Education is the creation of a sound mind in a sound body”.
  • Froebel “Education is the unfoldment of what is already enfolded in the germ. It is the process through which the child develops his innate qualities”
  • Mahatma Gandhi “By education I mean an all round drawing out of the best in child and men-body, mind and spirit”.
  • Pestalozzi “Education is the natural, harmonious and progressive development of man’s innate powers”.
  • James Drever “Education is a process in which and by which knowledge, character, and behaviour of the young are shaped and moulded”.
  • John Dewey “ Education is the process of living in a contituous reconstruction of experiences by developing the capacities of the individual which will enable him to control his environment and fulfill his possibilities”


  • Philosophy and education are closely interrelated.
  • Plant of education draws its nourishment from the soil of philosophy.
  • Education is application of philosophy or philosophy of education is applied philosophy.
  • Philosophy and education are like the sides of a coin, presenting different views of the same thing, and that one is implied by the other.
  • Philosophy of education offers a definite set of principles and establishes a definite set of aims and objectives.

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  • Educational philosophy is the branch of philosophy which provides answers to the educational issues of why to educate (aim), whom to educate (learner), who should educate (teacher), where to educate (school), what to educate (curriculum), how to educate (methods), what to use to educate (materials), when to educate (time), and so on.
  • In doing this, the educational philosopher tries to critically analyze the content and processes of the educational system and the challenges that emanate from it.
  • Philosophy of education may be defined as the application of the fundamental principles of a philosophy of life to the work of education.
  • One can therefore conclude that philosophy of education concerns the utilization of the methods, tools, and techniques of philosophy in investigating problems of educational system.
  • Thus, it is the educationists’ approach to solve educational problems by referring to the philosophy of society.




Philosophy of education is built upon the following basic criteria. A genuine national philosophy of education must possess these distinct components.

  1. The type of “Man” the society wants to produce.
  2. The nature or type of knowledge worth acquiring and the process of acquisition.
  3. The value systems-the things the society cherish or considers valuable or worth acquiring.

Implications of the Study of Philosophy of


Education to the Classroom Teacher

  • To make teaching-learning process more effective and attractive according to interest, inclinations and abilities of the child.
  • To bring out an all-round personality development in the child and prepare him to stand on his own feet.
  • Studying educational philosophy helps the teacher to find solutions for various educational issues.
  • This will guide teachers to select and use appropriate teaching methods suitable for the learners.

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Implications of the Study of Philosophy of Education to the Classroom Teacher

  • Philosophy of education enables the classroom teacher to abandon his/ her perceived and prejudiced notions about issues.
  • It enables the teacher to be broadminded in the way he thinks about educational issues.
  • it guides him/her in the way he organizes the teaching learning process.
  • Knowledge of philosophy of education enhances the output of the classroom teacher.
  • To expand our knowledge and experiences, and implement them in the educational practices.
  • To develop education as a powerful tool to bring about social, cultural, political and economic change in society.
  • Philosophy of education helps to sharpen the moral consciousness of the teacher trainee.
  • It increases the ability of a teacher to think and reflect or ponder on educational policies and practice.





  • Levels of Aims of Education
  • Types of Aims of Education
  • The Philosophical Basis of Education in Ghana


  • There are three basic levels of education aims every education system aspire to achieve. These are;
  • Immediate Aims
  • Proximate Aims
  • Ultimate Aims

Immediate aims

  • The immediate aim is short term and very measurable.
  • It can be the aims of subjects, topics or even objectives set by the teacher for a classroom lesson.
  • For instance, in a Philosophy of Education course, the immediate aim can be by the end of the course, the student should be able to examine the major schools of philosophy and how they influence the aims, curricular and methods of teaching.

Proximate aims

  • Proximate aims are given to the various levels of education.
  • For instance, what is expected of the educational system after K. G, Primary, JHS, SHS or Tertiary.
  • In Ghana, at the end of primary school course the pupils should have been equipped with the skills of numeracy.


Ultimate Aims

  • The ultimate aim of education defines the society’s expectation of the educational system at the very end.
  • Some of these aims are quite difficult to achieve holistically.
  • There are three main characteristics of ultimate aim of education.
  • In the first place,
  • it is long term,
  • it is social in character or society based and finally,
  • it caters for the individual’s life long needs

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Forms of Aims of Education

  • Social Aims of Education
  • Economic Aims of Education
  • Political Aims of Education
  • Moral and Spiritual Aims of Education


Social Aims of Education

  • Literacy- ability to read and write
  • Numeracy – ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide.
  • Critical and logical thinking or the development of creative enquiry
  • Manipulative skills
  • Aesthetic skills- art, painting, drama, poetry.

Economic Aims of Education

  • Technical/Vocational/Commercial skills are to be developed with the view to satisfying the manpower requirement of the country.
  • The aim is to train individuals in occupations such as
  • Computer literacy to equip the citizenry with employable skills
  • Human resource capital development.
  • Self-reliance. To wean the country from, external loans, donor support and foreign aids (Ghana beyond aid).
  • NB// Notwithstanding the economic aim of education, it must not be “education for survival

Political Aims of Education

  • Training for citizenship– Education should produce patriotic and informed active citizens.
  • Political Stability– Education should awaken political consciousness. Brings about understanding and help minimize dispute.
  • National Unity– train students to bring about national unity. They should avoid disputes.
  • Students should be critical in their thinking so that when they go out, they could settle disputes.
  • To realize these aims, the schools can teach Social Studies, History, Government, Citizenship education (reciting National pledge and Anthem)

Moral and Spiritual Aims of Education

  • Education should produce honest, truthful and courageous men and women who are God-fearing.
  • Character training. Good moral attitudes and values such as honesty, respect to the aged, discipline, and chastity among recipients.
  • Such good morals should rid society of corruption, stealing, murder, fornication, prostitution, rape, etc.
  • Subjects taught to promote this include, Religion, RME, Citizenship education.
  • Worship and devotion in schools can also help to promote moral education.


  • Development of Nationalism
  • Inculcation of Sound Moral Values
  • Development of Internationalism and Hospitability
  • Development of Scientific Attitude
  • Development of Citizens with Strong Mental and Intellectual Capacity
  • Development of Cultural Identity
  • Development of Quality Human Resource Base with Employable Skills





  • Why should a teacher develop a philosophy of teaching?
  • Types of philosophy of teaching
  • Reflective Practice or Teaching
  • The Question and Answer Method or Socratic Method


  • Philosophy of teaching is a statement of what you believe about teaching and learning, why you hold those beliefs and how you implement those beliefs and values in the classroom.
  • Teaching philosophy is a cornerstone of reflective practice in teaching and learning.
  • Every teacher who enters the classroom or other teaching situation has a philosophical framework (teaching philosophy) that guides his/her practice.


What is the Purpose of Developing a Philosophy of Teaching as a Teacher?

  • It gives the teacher the starting point or reference point to examine your teaching practice
  • It serves as a starting point to monitor the progress or otherwise of your own development as a teacher.
  • It enables teachers to share common ideas (team teaching)


There are two basic philosophies of teaching. These are

1.traditional view of teaching

2.modern conception of teaching (Bipolar)

The Traditional View of Teaching

meaning and Characteristics

  • In this view of teaching, the teacher sees himself as the dispenser of knowledge.
  • The main teaching technique usually employed in the traditional view of teaching is the lecture method.

The Greeks and Romans saw education in terms of preparation for adult roles in the adult world.

It is more teacher-centered method because it operates on the basic assumption that the teacher knows best.

The teacher takes on a more center role. The main attention is on what is taught rather than the child who is being taught.


  • The teacher selects what the learners will learn, the methods and the pace of lesson delivery.
  • Teachers have all the knowledge the child needs and therefore prepare to give all to the pupils.
  • Learning is entirely dependent on the teacher. Pupils learn when the teacher is present.
  • Teacher teaches all the time and does not allow learners to learn on their own.
  • All students learn in the same way and they are passive learners.
  • The traditional view of teaching reflects the philosophy of idealism.
  • Teachers move faster to complete syllabus

Problems with the Traditional View of Teaching

  • The pupils appear attentive and receptive but in reality, his mind may be wandering.
  • He may simply copy the words of a teacher or a book without any proper understanding.
  • Weak learners may be left behind while fast leaners are slowed down.
  • Learners interest and abilities are not given adequate attention and consideration.
  • Lessons are planned according to the teacher’s wishes, interest, and abilities.

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The Modern Conception of Teaching/ Teaching as a Bi-Polar Process

  • Form the 18th and 19th centuries, the child-study movements and educationists such as Pestalozzi, Rousseau, Montessori, Froebel and Comenius emphasized the importance of the child’s own needs and abilities in determining the kind of education he needed.
  • It is simply a realistic response to the development, interest and characteristics of children.
  • The modern conception of teaching philosophy views teaching as assisting pupils to learn for themselves.
  • This conception is founded on John Dewey’s definition of teaching ‘as the process of re-arranging the environment for the learners to learn or acquire knowledge by themselves”.
  • A modern teacher is a facilitator of learning.


Modern Philosophy of Teaching

  • Unlike the traditional view of teaching where pupils sit in rows and listen to their teacher alone to impart knowledge, here the pupils sit in groups all doing something different.
  • Some may be seen reading, writing, painting, or any other practical work.
  • The methods employed in the modern view of teaching are numerous.
  • Some of them are discussion, question and answer method, role playing, demonstration, brainstorming, simulation and dramatization etc.

Teaching as a bipolar process

  • Teaching as a Bi-polar process explained:
  • Many learning psychologists and philosophers have indicated that teaching is not one-way process.
  • The teacher and the students should cooperate to ensure learning is effectively obtained.
  • It is built on the premise that;

1.Not all children learn in the same manner so that if a teacher talks to all pupils some might benefit, but others might not.

2.Everyone learns at their own pace and not necessarily at the rhythm or pace set by the teacher.



Principles of Modern teaching

  • The modern conception of teaching rests on three main principles these are;
  • The process of teaching focus on pupils’ current experience
  • It recognizes the learners’ responsibility of what is learned and how it is learned.
  • Learning can take place in a variety of contexts

Problems with the Modern View of Teaching?

  • This trend of education attributes to the child a position that is bad for discipline.
  • Most methods employed in learner-centered education lead to chaos in the classroom.
  • Learner centered education lacks serious commitment to complete learning.
  • Teachers may relax and overly depend on children for learning to occur.

The Use of Question and Answer Method (Socratic Method) in Philosophy

  • Schofield describes philosophy as the process of asking questions
  • Socrate, one of the greatest philosophers ever, used this question and answer method very often hence the name “Socratic method”.
  • His questions, answers and conclusions are recorded in the philosophical dialogues of his greatest student Plato.
  • Socrate employed the maieutic element which literally meant “giving birth” and so this earned him the accolade “intellectual

Importance of the Socratic method

Competent and effective use of the Socratic method can yield the following results;

  • Clarification of pupils’ ideas and avoidance of hasty conclusions
  • Removal of errors and preconceived ideas from pupils’ minds in order not to fall victim to mediocrity.
  • It helps students to become aware of their own limitations and shortcomings
  • Acquisition of authentic information from the right sources.
  • Note:
  • questions and answer method must be used carefully. Leading and complex questions should be avoided in the professional task of teaching.
  • Leading questions especially stifle creativity on the part of students.

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  • Idealism
  • Realism
  • Naturalism
  • Pragmatism
  • Existentialism
  • Progressivism



  • There are several schools of philosophy of education.
  • These include
  • Idealism,
  • Realism,
  • Naturalism
  • Pragmatism,
  • Existentialism,
  • Progressivism
  • All the above schools have a certain level of influence on teaching and learning and are therefore referred to as schools of philosophy of education.


  • Idealism is a philosophical position which adheres to the view that nothing exists except an idea in the mind of man, the mind of God or in a super or supra-natural realm.
  • To them, the universe exists in spirit
  • The whole universe is knowable through the exercise of the mind.
  • Greater emphasis is placed upon the mental or spiritual aspect of the universe.
  • This school of philosophy tries to explain all existence in terms of the mind.
  • This philosophical position holds the view that nothing exists except in the mind of man, God or supernatural realm.
  • The universe is divided into two; the sensory world and the Real world.
  • The sensory world consists of the things we see and touch while the real world can only be reached through the mind (intellect). It is this world that is permanent.
  • All things in the sensory world come from the real world of ideas (mind)
  • They conclude knowledge is the ultimate of existence. They posited that if the mind does not know an object, then that object is non-existent-for a thing to exist, it has to be known or perceived.
  • They believe that there is universal or absolute truth which man can find. They say the truth exist and is independent of man’s knowledge of it.


The Idealist View of Education

  • An idealist’s concept of education is something which leads one to the highest moral conduct and deepest spiritual insight.
  • Education, according to idealism, is a spiritual necessity and not a natural necessity.
  • Education must convert original nature of man into spiritual nature.
  • In the words of Rusk, Education must enable mankind through its culture to enter more and more fully into the spiritual realm.
  • To the idealist, every citizen should be educated from birth to maturity for the purpose of bringing improvement both individually and communally.
  • The education should aim at bringing the individual closer to the absolute truth and conscious self.

Idealist Method of Teaching

  • According to the idealists, the classroom is the temple of spiritual learning, a meeting place of human minds and a place for self-learning.
  • The idealist suggest the following techniques and methods of teaching.
  • Lecture
  • Narration
  • Exposition
  • Discussion
  • Observation
  • Question and Answer method,
  • Practice and repetition.
  • All these methods should be aimed at developing the mind of the learners because to them, learning is the exercise of the mind.


Idealist View of the Curriculum

  • Emphasis is put on subjects that would improve on the student’s intelligence and understanding.
  • Subjects that ensure the development of the child’s mental faculties is the most important concern of the idealist.
  • The idealist curriculum put much premium on the humanities such as History, Geography, Liberal education, Literature and Pure Mathematics etc.
  • The teaching of different subjects will develop the knowing faculty of the mind.
  • The idealist curriculum places less value on Vocational and Technical subjects.
  • The idealists do not seriously consider psychomotor skills and

Idealist View of the Teacher

  • The teacher enjoys a place of prestige and respect in education.
  • His place and role is next to God. He carries the child from darkness of ignorance and superstition to light.
  • Facilitator of learning. He should therefore guide the child with love, affection and sympathy to stimulate learning.
  • The teacher should have a deep sense of knowledge in his subject.
  • The teacher is a spiritual symbol of right conduct. (A role model and a perfect example for students to imitate)

Idealist View of the Student

  • The student has some hidden potentials that need nurturing or development.
  • They see the child as a limited soul and should be made an unlimited soul through proper instruction so that they may attain immortality.
  • The student is a finite person growing when properly educated into the image of an infinite person.
  • They should have the qualities of respect, feeling of dedication, a liking for meditation, regularity, carefulness in speech, utmost wisdom and respect towards their teacher.
  • There should be cordial and positive relationship between the teacher and the taught.
  • The student is in the process of becoming like the ideal or absolute.
  • The student should be involved in the learning

Criticisms against Idealism

  • It concentrates or emphasizes the mental faculty or cognitive domain of the learners at the expense of their body or physical development.
  • The idealist de-emphasizes experience.
  • The fact that it greatly emphasizes the humanities shows its tendency to neglect or put little emphasis on the whole concept of a technological society.
  • Idealism overlooks the possibility of errors.
  • The greatest shortfall of this school of thought is that its truth is immutable and unchanging without critical consideration of the possibility of error.


  • This school of thought is directly opposed to the idealist school of thought
  • Realism is the theory that holds the existence of objects is real.
  • To the realist, objects have real existence independent of the mind or any knowledge of it.
  • If an object does not exist there is no way or need the mind can perceive.
  • objects will continue to exist even if scientist do not ever discover them.

Realist View of Education

  • The basic aim of education is to teach the child the natural and moral laws so that he/she may live in tune with the laws of the universe.
  • Realist education aims at equipping learners with facts that enable them to face the realities of life.
  • Their education satisfies the society and the individual.
  • They believe happiness in life may be achieved by fulfillment of human responsibilities and obligations


Realist Curriculum

  • Realist Curriculum prefers subjects and activities which can prepare children for day to day living.
  • Science and vocational subjects enjoy predominant position in curriculum followed by arts, literature and languages.

Realist View of the Teacher

  • The teacher is to be a guide to introduce the student to the real world.
  • The teacher is supposed to know the basic truths or culture and therefore a repository of knowledge and wisdom.

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The realist View of the Student

  • The realists see the student as a functional organism which through sensory experience can perceive the natural order of the universe.
  • He must learn the habit of self-discipline so as to enable him to master the subjects.


  • The naturalist school of thought can be described as the school of philosophy which consider nature as the most important factor in the general development or affairs of humankind.
  • the whole idea of humankind is meaningless if it fails to interact positively with the natural world or things in their raw state.
  • The naturalist believe that man should be allowed to exercise his creative powers and pursue their aspirations in “innocence” without inhibitions.

The Naturalist View on Education

  • They believe that education should be allowed to proceed according to nature in accordance with inner principles of the child.
  • Child centered education.
  • Education as the natural development of the child’s power and capacities.
  • There shouldn’t be negative education in early childhood. Education should be based on child’s psychology.
  • They believe education should not be an imposition of an externally formulated principles on the child.


Naturalism and Curriculum

  • The naturalists do not advocate a fixed or rigid curriculum.
  • The curriculum should be child-centered.
  • The naturalists lay emphasis on Natural science subjects such as Biology, Zoology, Botany and Agricultural science etc.
  • History and Social studies have been given importance to grasp the past experiences of the human race.
  • They also lay stress on physical education and health and home science education also.
  • Literary and aesthetic culture also develops the inner and artistic sense of the child.

Naturalist Methodology

  • Education should be child-centered making use of the present interest and experiences of the child.
  • The child should be allowed to discover his own experience and explore his environment in order to accumulate his repertoire of knowledge with little guidance.
  • They follow different methods of teaching according to the interests, capacities and aptitudes of the child. Some of the methods are:
  • Learning by doing
  • Learning through senses
  • Play-way method
  • Excursion and observation method
  • Heuristic method
  • Montessori method

Naturalist View of the Teacher

  • To the naturalists, “Nature is the only supreme teacher”.
  • The teacher comes next to the child in the educational process.
  • The teacher Should be:
  • A stage setter: an observer, able to understand nature of the child.
  • The teacher should not interfere in the natural development of the child.
  • The role of the teacher is like a gardener who prepares the soil for the proper growth of the plants.
  • The teachers’ role should be passive, (behind the scenes) thus, just ensuring that environmental conditions and resources are provided in the right proportion for the child to grow into what nature has ordained for him or her.

Naturalist View on the Student

  • The naturalists regard the child as the “Hero” in the drama of education.
  • They believe education is for the child rather than the child for education.
  • They believe that the child is naturally endowed and could naturally develop along good path if uninterrupted or non-interfered with adults.
  • The naturalist asserts that every child is born with a tendency towards goodness which needs to be encouraged and nurtured to bring the best in him.
  • At birth the child fully free from evils, but later the environment and society vitiate him.
  • So the child should be kept away from the ills of society.

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  • This school of thought see things in the practical way through practice or experience.
  • To the pragmatist, the true value of a proposition or idea is its practical utility or usability.
  • The pragmatist opposes to ideas or theories that lack practical application.

The Pragmatist View on Education

  • They see education as the most important tool for remolding society.
  • They see education as a more controlled approach to introducing changes in society instead of revolutionary changes that could bring about conflict.
  • It gives a clear-cut concept of education based upon a close relationship between theory and practice of education.
  • Education as a social necessity. Progressive education. Freedom and worth of the individual. Education is a continuous process.


The Pragmatist Method of Teaching

  • Does not believe in a fixed method of teaching.
  • Their emphasis is on child’s activities, integration and experimentation.
  • The main method of the pragmatist is experimental inquiry.
  • The pragmatists believe that people know about things or objects (matter) only as they experience it and reflect upon that experience with their minds.
  • To the pragmatist, learning should be leaner centered.
  • It should be activity based or centered (learning by doing).
  • Group method or cooperative learning should be ensured. Project method or problem solving approaches should be emphasized.

Pragmatist View of the Curriculum

  • To the pragmatist, any educative experiences that contribute to the growth of the student is the subject matter.
  • E.g. Science, Humanities, and Languages.
  • Specifically, aesthetic subjects such as
  • Painting, Drama, Music, Dance and Literature should be taught to develop the child’s creative ability.

Pragmatist View of the Teacher

  • Teachers are to serve as guides or project directors because of their experience.
  • The teacher should not be an authoritarian trying to impose his will on the learners
  • The teacher should not be a spectator or the laissez faire type who just look on for learners to do their own thing
  • The teacher should be a resource person to whom the child refers those problems he/she could not resolve personally.


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The term existentialism was coined by Jean-Paul Sartre.

According to him, Existentialism simply means “existence precedes essence.”

The increase in popularity of existentialism in Europe could be tracked back to the aftermath of the second world war.

Existentialism gives each of us the freedom and responsibility to take charge of our own lives and free us from the constraints falsely imposed on us by authoritative appeal to “human nature”, or God’s will.

To them, man is the creative realizer of his own potentialities.

It puts everyman or woman in possession of him or herself as he is and places the entire responsibility for his existence squarely upon his/her own shoulders

Existentialism and Education

  • The educational dimension of existentialism is rooted in the students’ questioning and his search for self- and his own existence.
  • That is to say, his education must necessarily bear fruits on his existence.
  • The role of Existentialism in education is the promotion of the full, free development of the individual to deal with situation in which he finds himself.
  • Education is not to adjust the student to his environment or to integrate him at all costs into the society.
  • Rather the student should do the adjustment and reintegration.
  • The task of education is only to enhance his ability to decide correctly.
  • Again education is to help the student to develop his initiative skills to help him search for and discover for himself, cultivate self reliance as a key character trait.


Existentialism and Curriculum

  • The most important items in the curriculum of the existentialists are the humanities.
  • The study of literature in particular is stressed.
  • To them, the study of Literature affords the students the real opportunity of coming face to face with realities, experiences of life.
  • It enables the students to follow the life styles of the heroes of novels and drama, as they live: their loves, hates, struggles, emotions and more importantly the momentous decisions they make.
  • These experiences help the individual to freely acquire first-hand information which is original and really his own.

Existentialism and Curriculum

  • The Social Sciences is also emphasized in the curriculum of the Existentialists.
  • To them, as students go through these subjects, they become equipped with knowledge dealing with other people’s life experiences, their behaviors and general conduct.
  • Such information is vital to students as it prepares them for their future decisions and their consequent actions.
  • Rational and scientific knowledge is not given much prominence in the existentialists school of thought.
  • This notwithstanding, science and technology are somehow considered in order to ensure students survival in their environment.

Existentialists Methodology

  • Even though, what is taught (the content) is important, the most important of all is how it is imparted (Methodology).
  • Whatever method is adopted, the underlying and fundamental focus should be the learner/student because he is to be equipped to realize or determine his “physical self.”
  • The Question and Answer method (Socratic) method is used.
  • This technique helps students to participate the educational process fully.
  • He does not become a mere spectator or an observer.
  • In addition, role-playing and dramatization also feature prominently in the curriculum of the existentialism.

Existentialist View of the Teacher

  • The existentialist philosopher considers parents as the most important teachers, since they play crucial role in the early development of children .
  • In spite of possible deficiencies and deformities that a child may possess, the parents and the immediate family’s sympathy and profound understanding of the child is always present.
  • This alone makes their influence on the child so crucial that it cannot be dispensed with.
  • Next to the parents are the teachers who are thinkers and should co-operate with the parents in the course of discharging their duty.
  • The teacher is a counselor, guardian whose preoccupation is to create the spirit of innovation, independence and self-reliance in the students.




  • Amos Comenius
  • August Froebel
  • Maria Montessori
  • Pestalozzi
  • John Dewey
  • Froebel’s Kindergarten Philosophy


Early Life and Education

  • He was born in 1592 in Moravia and died in 1670.
  • He started life as a pastor and later became a Bishop of the Moravian Brethren Church.
  • He wrote about 135 religious and educational books.
  • He is the last and the greatest of the protestant educators.
  • He is popularly referred to as the Father of Modern Education.
  • He published some of the first picture books for children and called it Orbis Pictus.

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Comenius Philosophy of Education

  • He developed a philosophy of education known as Pan-sophism (meaning all knowledge or wisdom).
  • This philosophy called for universalization of education and knowledge.
  • To this, he said education should be accessible to all children irrespective of their backgrounds, whether rich or poor, girl or boy, noble or freeborn, ordinary or gifted.
  • No child should be excluded from school unless he has been denied of the sense and intelligence by God (non-educable).
  • The idea of the FCUBE in Ghana is based on his philosophy of pan-sophism.

Comenius Views on Education

  • He preferred school education to Home education. This is because parents may not have the adequate time and ability to teach their children.
  • He advocated for the type of school curriculum that takes into greater consideration the environmental experiences of the children.
  • The child’s readiness to learn is paramount.
  • He advocated universalization of education to all humans irrespective of their religious, economic or social position. He helped to avoid the discrimination in education.
  • His concept of international education earned him the title “Teacher of Nations


He proposed the following stages of education

  • From birth to six years (0 -6yrs). The emphasis should be on sensory knowledge of the environment.
  • From six to twelve years (6-12yrs). Development of imagination through the senses.
  • From twelve to eighteen years (12-18yrs). The development of rational power
  • From eighteen to twenty-four years. (18-24yrs). Self-direction emanating from the will power of the individual.
  • Twenty-four years on (24 and above). Rapid intellectual development proceeds and increasing maturity comes from the love of God.


Comenius Structure of Modern Education System

The Mother School (home education).

Learning language, proper behavior, religious beliefs, music, poetry and rhymes. environmental objects such as plants, stones, pets (dog, cats, birds etc.).

Primary School Stage.

Instruction in the child’s own language. The 3Rs, Bible knowledge, general knowledge in History and knowledge of trade and occupations.

The Latin School Stage.

The curriculum included Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Theology, the Arts, the Natural and Social Science

so that the    student might emerge with encyclopedic knowledge.


The University Stage

  • Here, suitable students specialize in certain fields of knowledge such as
  • Law,
  • Medicine,
  • Politics and Philosophy.
  • They also carry on research.
  1. College of Light (Final Stage)

  • This stage is characterized by co-operative international research institutions staffed by a body of scholars each in his or her own sphere promoting the well-being of the human race.
  • g. Ghana Academic of Arts and Sciences (GAAS),
  • Institute of Economic Affaires (IEA)
  • Historical Society of Ghana, etc

Comenius Methods of Teaching

  • He was not happy with how each school and each teacher used different methods in teaching.
  • In his opinion, when different methods are used in the same class or school for the same subjects, the pupils scarcely understand what he/ she is expected to learn.
  • He proposed therefore that there should be only one teacher in the class. Only one textbook or author should be used for each subject.
  • Same exercise should be given to the whole class.
  • To make instruction more acceptable and beneficial to the pupils, he suggested that the school should be situated at a quiet location or environment free from noise and distractions.
  • The school should be attractive to the eye (both in and out)
  • On discipline, he cautioned that no blow should be given to the child for his lack of readiness to learn.
  • Compare guitarist and keyboardist, they patiently tune their strings or keys to get the right tune/sound but do not hit nor abandon their instruments.

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Early Life and Education

  • John Dewey is one the greatest educational thinkers and writers of modern times.
  • He has written more than 50 books and 800 articles on Philosophy, Education, Sociology and Politics.
  • He was born in 1859 at Burlington, Vermont (England)
  • He graduated from the university of Vermont in 1879
  • He became a teacher in High School. He soon entered John Hopkins University to study Philosophy.
  • He obtained PhD in Philosophy in 1884 and he was appointed instructor of Philosophy at Michigan, Minnesota Universities and Chicago universities.

John Dewey’s Philosophical Position

  • John Dewey believes that there are two sides to the education process (The Psychological and Sociological)
  • To him the goal of education cannot be achieved in the absence of these two perspectives.
  • Psychological
  • This is the study of the child with his interests, instincts, endowments and inclinations. This forms the basis of education.
  • Sociological
  • This is the social environment in which the child is born.
  • He sees education as a Bi-polar process consisting of psychological and the sociological elements.

John Dewey’s Philosophical Position

  • John Dewey’s educational philosophy has been termed as Instrumentalism, Experimentalism, Pragmatism, Functionalism, Progressivism.
  • Experience therefore forms the core of his educational philosophy.
  • His philosophy of instrumentalism focuses on learning by doing rather than rote-learning and dogmatic instruction.
  • To him, the value of an idea is measured by the consequences produced when translated into action.
  • Educational experiences should be measured by the degree and extent to which they cater to the actual needs of the individual and the society. (usefulness of ideas and theories).
  • He emphasized the social function of intelligence. All knowledge, facts and information must directly benefit or lead to social growth and material development of human society.

Aims of Education

  • John Dewey set not fixed aim of education.
  • To him physical and social environments are changing. Therefore, the aims of education must change and they cannot be fixed for all times to come.
  • He suggested that educational aims should be restated and reformulated in the light of changes in the present day life.
  • Create values which are related to time and space.
  • Make a child experimentalist
  • Maximum/total growth of the child.
  • Prepare child for life
  • To him, education is not separate from life, it is not even preparation for life. It is life.


Dewey’s Concept of School

  • The school is a miniature society:
  • It is an activity school where opportunities are provided to the child to construct his experiences under the specific guidance of teachers.
  • It is described as an enlarged home or specialized institution which provides opportunity to learn habits of obedience, hard work, discipline, sacrifice, punctuality, self-control, and other social obligations.
  • In fact, the school is a small community within the larger community.


John Dewey’s Method of Teaching

  • He defined teaching as the process of rearranging the environment for the learner to gain knowledge by himself.
  • He consequently propagated the following methods of teaching:
  • Learning by Doing: The child learns best when he himself performs actions related to a particular subject.
  • Direct experience: the child leans effectively through observation and direct experience (child’s senses)
  • Individual approach: teaching should be according to the interest, ability and experience of the child.
  • Collective approach: Teacher should assign projects to children to be completed by them collectively.
  • Eliminate competition for grades, threats and corporal punishments.
  • Arouse the interest of the pupils and stimulate impulse to strive towards

Contribution of Dewey to Modern Education

  • He established a systematic treatment of philosophy and education. His educational philosophy has had a very significant and lasting influence on modern education.
  • Curriculum
  • His ideas have produced a life-centered and experience curriculum according to the interest, abilities and needs of the child.
  • Teaching Methods
  • His project method, experimental and problem solving methods and the idea of learning by doing have been very instrumental in the development of modern educational practice and techniques.
  • Through his sociological and psychological perspectives of education, today’s education is a social medium and the school is a social institution in which children are trained to live and work together.
  • Policy and Practice
  • Several educational policies and practices in many parts of the world have been derived from the thoughts of John Dewey (e.g. free education in India and Ghana).

MARIA MONTESSORI Early Life and Education

  • She was born in 1870 in Italy and died in 1952.
  • Montessori was a little ahead of her age, very confident, and was greatly interested in change.
  • She first graduated from Technical School in 1886 and also studied Languages and Natural Science.
  • She wanted to read medicine but her father objected because it was impossible for a woman to be admitted into a medical school in Italy. However, upon determination and persistence, Pope Leo helped her to be admitted into medical school.
  • In 1896, she graduated with her Doctor of Medicine degree. This made her the first female to graduate from medical school in Italy.

Philosophical Ideas of Montessori on Education

  • Montessori believed in the philosophy of Humanism.
  • Humanism means human beings possess the ability or innate potentials to solve their own problems through reasoning and scientific method.
  • She believed that intelligence is not rare and that most new born children came into the world with a human potential that will be barely revealed or utilized.

Montessori’s Contribution to Education

  • She belongs to the Child Study School of philosophers who took scientific approach to education based on observation and experimentation.
  • She employed the biologists method of studying the natural behavior of animals in the forest to observe the natural behavior of children to understand how they learn.
  • Initially, her ideas were not welcomed by the Italian Ministry of Education. They denied her access to school-aged children.
  • In 1907, she started a Day Care Center for working class parents whose children were too young to start public school.
  • Her study and care for her retarded youngsters and their ability to pass the standard six grade test of the Italian Public Schools proved that public schools should be able to produce better results with normal children.
  • Her philosophies and ideas gradually gained acceptance in Italy.

Montessori Method of Education

  • Montessori philosophy on education is built on the idea that children develop and think differently from adults but are not merely “adults in small bodies”.
  • Montessori discouraged the use of traditional test to measure achievements.
  • To her grade test sparkles up negative competition among the children. Those who cannot bear this pressure may fall out of school.
  • She rather proposed qualitative analyses of the child’s achievements
  • Montessori methods focus on the individuality of each child in respect of their talents or needs but not on a group.
  • Montessori methods encourages independence and freedom of the child.
  • Children are masters of their environment. They should be allowed to explore freely with little guidance.

Montessori Classroom

  • Montessori classrooms are child centered.
  • Furniture is child-sized and there are no teachers’ desk.
  • Montessori classroom provides relics or real objects for children to interact with their natural environment
  • -e.g. flower pot, cage zoo, painting materials etc.
  • Their classrooms have non-competitive atmosphere.

Montessori Teacher

  • The teacher is a guide and a facilitator of learning.
  • He is active and enthusiastic
  • Uses role playing and simulations
  • Sometimes dresses like or sits with the pupils



Pedagogical Materials

  • Montessori emphasize neat, clean and attractive materials preferably made of natural objects.
  • Materials are often constructed or designed by the teacher. Improvisation is a last resort for the Montessori teacher.
  • Didactic materials that are self-correcting are used because children learn through discovery e.g. Lego, puzzle cube, abacus and lacing.

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Early Life and Education

  • Froebel was born in Germany in 1782 and died on 1852.
  • His mother died when he was barely 9 months so his father re-married another woman.
  • Feeling neglected by his father and step-mother, Froebel experienced an unhappy early childhood.
  • He became apprentice to a forester and a surveyor. He later studied Architecture in Frankfurt-Germany.
  • His popularity in Germany is mainly to the fact that he was the originator and founder of Kindergarten education.

Froebel’s Educational Principles

  • Froebel’s educational philosophy rested on four main principles:
  • Principle of free self-activity


It refers the activities which a child does in accordance with his own interest. Nothing is imposed from outside.

  • Principle of sociability or social participation

Self activities should be expressed in a good social environment through group plays to develop sociability. To him, group plays develop mutual love, sympathy, cooperation and fellow-feeling along with the feeling of positive competEtion among them.

Froebel’s Educational Principles

  • Creativity
  • Every child is creative by nature.
  • If he is given some materials, he will try to create new forms at once.
  • Children want to do and undo, break and mend things. Therefore creativeness in the child should be developed through education.
  • Motor expression
  • The purpose is to strengthen their bodies, eye and hand coordination. This is to be done through physical activity and expression.
  • They purposefully engage in Running, climbing, scribbling, lacing, etc. under the guidance of the teacher.

Froebel’s Kindergarten Philosophy

  • Froebel’s outstanding contribution to education was that in 1837 he established a new type of early childhood school called Kindergarten (K.G) German word which is translated as Garden of children) for 3 to 4-year-old children.
  • Froebel’s reputation as an early childhood educator, increased as the kindergarten schools were planted throughout Germany and later spread to other parts of the world.
  • According to Froebel, Kindergarten is a miniature state for children. It is the home for children to play freely by which they express themselves and develop their potentialities.
  • To Froebel, “school is the nursery (garden center) of future citizens, the teacher is the gardener and the students are tender plants”
  • Like the gardener, the teacher is to look after the little human plants and


Environment of the Kindergarten

  • The lovely freedom of the kindergarten is freedom, peace, play and joyful living.
  • Froebel’s kindergarten is a school without books and fixed intellectual task for children.
  • But the training consist of songs, recitations, play and gestures.
  • When a story is told or read, it is expressed in song, dramatized in movement and gestures, and illustrated by construction form in blocks, paper, clay, or drawing.
  • This process develops the imagination and thought of the child.
  • It helps the child to train up his hands, eyes and other senses in order to do certain things.
  • There is no corporal (bodily) punishment on the child.

Teaching procedure in the kindergarten

  • Teaching procedure in the kindergarten involves teaching through songs, plays, gifts and occupation.
  • Songs are the most important means through which education is imparted in the kindergarten.
  • The songs selected and included by Froebel relate to nursery games and they satisfy the physical, mental, social, moral and spiritual needs of the children.
  • Each song has verses for singing and a picture for illustrating the verses.
  • These type of rhymes enable the child to use his senses, limbs and muscles and to become familiar with the objects around him.
  • Examples are: “Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Babaa Black Sheep”

Teaching procedure in the kindergarten

  • Froebel introduces play-way method of teaching into the kindergarten for the growth of the child.
  • Play is the engine that drives true learning. He says play is not an idle behavior, it is a happy work but play must be purposeful.
  • Play is the highest phase of child development.
  • It is through play that the child discloses his real self and clearly indicates his interest.
  • Froebel utilizes play for cultivating in the child the habits of action, feeling, and thinking, and for developing courage, instincts and motivation and his senses which are the gateways to knowledge.

Teaching procedure in the kindergarten

  • Gifts are educational toys presented to the child in a definite form.
  • They consist of red, blue, yellow, orange, green and purple colours.
  • It also include spherical, cube and cylindrical shapes.
  • Full freedom is given to the child to handle them the way he/she likes.
  • Such activities connected with these gifts are called Occupations.
  • Occupations include activities like construction with paper folding, clay moulding, painting and drawing.
  • The purpose of these gifts and occupations is to enable the child to utilize his senses of touch and sight, and to give him an idea of size, form and surface


Role of Teacher in Kindergarten

  • Teacher admires, loves and live for his children.
  • Teacher plays the role of a gardener who looks after the tender plants.
  • He has to provide an environment of joy, peace, freedom and love which are essential for the natural growth of the child.
  • The teacher behaves like a friend, counselor, guide and a philosopher.
  • He should not remain passive.
  • He is the mirror of the child and set appropriate models for the growing mind to emulate.
  • The teacher should be patient, energetic and of sound mind.

Merits of Froebel’s Kindergarten

  • The gifts and occupations of the kindergarten have brought about a new approach to the method of educating children.
  • Kindergarten education engages the awakening mind of the children through their senses in order to make them acquainted with nature and their fellow creatures.
  • The nature study helps to develop love for nature and world in the mind of the children.
  • The plays and motor expressions strengthen the bodies of children to be physically fit.
  • The child-centered education makes children independent and creative workers.


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  • Democracy
  • Freedom
  • Morality
  • Authority
  • Discipline



  • One objective of education is the production of what could be described as “Democratic Man”
  • Men who are highly tolerant, accommodating, and open-minded.
  • This could be interpreted in three main ways:
  • First, education should serve the purpose of democracy by producing citizens able and willing to maintain a democratic society.
  • Secondly, schools and other educational institutions should themselves be organized in democratic lines.
  • Thirdly, Education to a large extent is accountable to the society that provides it.
  • The type of democracy appropriate is the one which allows children (students) participate in the democratic procedures under conditions in which they can do themselves little harm.


  • To Schofield (1972) freedom may be defined as the absence of restraint in life.
  • That is, it is a situation whereby one is able to act or do what he/she likes without restriction from any person, authority or condition.
  • In order words, there is freedom when an individual is under no obligation to act contrary to his wishes.
  • Freedoms in the school situation for children,
  • Freedom of speech
  • Freedom of Association
  • Freedom from imposition of ideas, restrictions punishment etc.
  • Freedom to choose subjects, friends, and to go to classes or not.
  • Freedom from fear and unnecessary anxiety.


  • Do Teachers also have Freedom?
  • Teachers have freedom to choose teaching methods
  • Freedom to participate in decision making
  • Freedom to put into practice a worthy philosophy of teaching
  • Do parents also have Freedom?
  • Freedom to pay for education in independent schools
  • Parents have freedom to choose denominational schools
  • Freedom to guide children to choose programmes


  • In school, Freedom is desirable because particularly, with children, when fear is present, they do not show their natural behavior and interest.
  • Teachers and authorities should therefore refrain from any act that will prevent the child from exercising his freedom.
  • However, as much as freedom is desired, it cannot be exercised without some limitations.
  • Unlimited freedom may bring about chaos, hence in the school, even though learners should be allowed to develop and work with a great degree of freedom, there should be a limit to their freedom to enable each student to feel his right of freedom.


  • Authority is the power or right to act. E.g. to compel people to conform.
  • Authority is important because freedom without authority is license to produce anarchy.
  • Freedom is sustained by willing submission to genuine authority whether man, institutional or administrative.
  • Authority guides or limits the individual to exercise and enjoy his freedom more responsibly.
  • In the school, those with authority are the head teacher, teachers and to some extent the prefects.
  • The head teacher has authority over everyone in the school. The teachers are the subordinates of the head.
  • The teachers also have authority over the students in the classroom.

Types of Authority

  • Traditional authority It is the kind of authority given to a person because of traditionally transmitted rules or beliefs. An example is the authority of the chief.
  • Legal-rational Authority It is the kind of authority which is imposed on someone by law or formally established procedures.
  • With this type of authority, obedience is not owed to the person but to the position he occupies.
  • Charismatic authority The exercise of such authority is based on the attractiveness and appeal of the leader. When a person is able to command respect and obedience from his/her followers because of his charming and loving personality.



  • Morality concerns with deciding on the rightness or wrongness of an action.
  • Moral situation arises when one has the opportunity to decide on the rightness or otherwise of one’s action in terms of standard or criteria.
  • In education, morality is one of the powers that compel people to conform.
  • Teachers have certain ethics, we normally refer to as the code of ethics that regulate their professional conduct.
  • Any act that contravenes the code of ethics may be regarded as immoral.

Discipline and Punishment

  • It is a means whereby people are trained in orderliness, good conduct and the habit of getting the best of themselves.
  • Discipline connotes the idea of submission to rules or some kind of order.
  • Discipline is a function of freedom and authority.
  • Discipline is necessary to develop the freedom of mind and spirit.
  • Discipline ensures the highest freedom.
  • In the school, a discipline child will obey authority or rules and regulation is likely to avoid punishment.
  • Punishment by authority is needed to enforce discipline.]


Types of Discipline

  • Self-imposed Disciplines It is the type of discipline from within the individual which does not require the presence of external force.
  • It is intrinsic. In order words, self-discipline results from an individual’s own self control as a result of his acceptance of authority. This is a true discipline.
  • When a child achieves self-discipline, he does what is right and avoids wrong without any external guidance.
  • Externally imposed Discipline This is the type of discipline is imposed on the child or individuals by authorities, parents, teachers, peer group etc.
  • Here the acceptance of rules springs from other people’s desire and not the person’s own will.

CHECK THIS ONE: Philosophy of Education Past Question 2022




  • The Basel
  • The Wesleyans
  • The Roman Catholics
  • The Seventh Day Adventist


  • The arrival of the Christian Missionaries saw the spread and expansion of schools in Ghana
  • Their main mission was to propagate their Gospel but they realized they could effectively achieve it through the opening of schools.
  • They therefore used school education as the main vehicle to achieve their goal.
  • Each of the Christian missionaries organized their schools in the context of their faith until the enactment of the 1961 Education Act which sought to abolish this practice and bring some uniformity in educational provision in Ghana.
  • This notwithstanding, some the Christian missions have continued to maintain distinctive aspect of their faith in their schools.


What is Christian Education?

  • The aim of true education is to restore human beings into the image of God as revealed by the life of Jesus Christ.
  • Only through the guidance of the Holy Spirit can this be accomplished.
  • An education of this kind imparts far more than academic knowledge.
  • It fosters a balanced development of the whole person—spiritual, physical, intellectual, and socio-emotional—a process that spans a lifetime. Working together, homes, schools, and churches cooperate with divine agencies to prepare learners to be good citizens in this world and for eternity.


  • One philosophical foundation of the Basel Missionary education was the use of vernacular as the medium of instruction.
  • Their research had proven that it was beneficial to teach in the local dialect than the foreign ones.
  • The Basel mission initiated the development of Ghanaian languages into writing. E.g. Rev. Johannes Christaller, Akrofi, Rev. Zimmerman, Wester Mann.


  • Another philosophical base of the Basel mission was the promotion of agricultural education.
  • All Basel schools had small farms attached to them (Model Farms)
  • It is not surprising that the emblem of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana is the Palm tree.
  • Discipline was the hall-mark of Basel training. They did not de-couple good moral training from their educational and


  • The Basel mission established the ‘Salem’ where their converts were to live away from the unbelievers.
  • There was strict observance of sanitation in the Salem.
  • Basel education also emphasized Technical, vocational and industrial training in areas such as carpentry, masonry, blacksmithing, bookbinding etc. in an attempt to diversify the curriculum of the castle schools.
  • Tetteh Quarshie, was for instance, trained by the Basel as a Blacksmith and a “shoe-maker”.


  • The Roman Catholic education centered on intellectual and purely academic courses which were aimed at total liberation of the learners from the shackles of the world.
  • Subjects such as History, Religion, Philosophy and Latin were emphasized in the curriculum of the schools.



  • The Girl-child education was given attention by the Catholics than any other mission.
  • This is manifested in the establishment of the following Girls’ secondary schools and Teacher Training Colleges;
  • St Louis-Kumasi
  • Notre Dame-Sunyani
  • St Francis-Jirapa
  • Holy Child (Cape Coast and Takoradi)
  • St Rose’s
  • OLA Girls (Kenyasi, Ho and Cape Coast )
  • Archbishop Porter Girls


  • Another philosophical basis of the Catholic education was to reach out to all individuals especially the marginalized.
  • They became the first Missionaries to open schools in the Northern sector and other downgraded areas in the Gold Coast.
  • Idealistic and character modelling was emphasized in Catholic schools.
  • Some Catholic saints were idolized and pupils were taught to emulate them, especially during baptism, pupils in Catholic schools were obliged to select a saint of their choice and model their


  • The Seventh-day Adventist Church recognizes God as the ultimate source of existence, truth, and power.
  • In the beginning, God created in His image a perfect humanity, a perfection later marred by sin.
  • Education in its broadest sense is a means of returning human beings to their original relationship with God.
  • The distinctive characteristics of this Adventist worldview, built around creation, the fall, redemption, and recreation, are derived from the Bible and the inspired writings of Ellen G. White.


  • The distinctive characteristics of Adventist education is derived from the Bible and the writings of Ellen G. White.
  • The philosophy points to the redemptive aim of true education: to restore human beings into the image of their maker.
  • Adventist education seeks to prepare students for a useful and joy-filled life, fostering friendship with God, whole-person development, Bible-based values and selfless service to humanity.


  • Comparatively, Seventh Day Adventist stressed co-education than the other missionaries. Almost all the initial schools founded were co-educational (Mixed schools).
  • They also emphasized practical agriculture, craft and industrial education.
  • This mainly explains why they relocated to Asante-Agona in 1914 because of their interest in industrial education and good fertile soil for the promotion of agricultural education.
  • Functional education was also promoted by the Adventist. •Holistic education, excellence and morality were also













BRIGHT FRANCIS ADOM is an ICT teacher at Ghana Education Service, Entrepreneur, Hard Working and I believe in giving out Accurate information to help others

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