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What is Philosophy?

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected
with reality, existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Philosophy is
distinguished from other ways of addressing such problems by its critical, generally systematic
approach and its reliance on rational argument. In more casual speech, by extension,
"philosophy" can refer to "the most basic beliefs, concepts, and attitudes of an individual or
Philosophy comes from the Greek for "love of wisdom," giving us two important starting points:
love (or passion) and wisdom (knowledge, understanding). Philosophy sometimes seems to be
pursued without passion as if it were a technical subject like engineering or mathematics.
Although there is a role for dispassionate research, philosophy must derive from some passion
for the ultimate goal: a reliable, accurate understanding ourselves and our world. This is also
what atheists should seek.
Philosophy is describing or giving systematic, complete, and speculative view of the reality. In
philosophy, we are determining the limits, scope, validity, etc. of knowledge.

What are the Philosophy of Education?
There are many kinds of educational philosophies, but for the sake of simplicity it is possible to
extract five distinct ones. These five philosophies are (1) perennialism, (2) idealism, (3) realism,
(4) experimentalism, and (5) existentialism. Collectively, these philosophies represent a broad
spectrum of thought about what schools should be and do. Educators holding these philosophies
would create very different schools for students to attend and learn. In the following sections,
each of these standard philosophies is discussed in terms of its posture on axiological,
epistemological, and ontological questions.
The five standard philosophies are compared in Table 2.1 in terms of attitudes on significant
The most conservative, traditional, or inflexible of the five philosophies is perennialism, a
philosophy drawing heavily from classical definitions of education. Perennialists believe that
education, like human nature, is a constant. Because the distinguishing characteristic of humans
is the ability to reason, education should focus on developing rationality. Education, for the
perennialist, is a preparation for life, and students should be taught the world's permanencies
through structured study.
For the perennialist, reality is a world of reason. Such truths are revealed to us through study and
sometimes through divine acts. Goodness is to be found in rationality itself. Perennialists would
favor a curriculum of subjects and doctrine, taught through highly disciplined drill and behavior
control. Schools for the perennialist exist primarily to reveal reason by teaching eternal truths.
The teacher interprets and tells. The student is a passive recipient. Because truth is eternal, all
change in the immediate school environment is largely superficial.

Idealism is a philosophy that espouses the refined wisdom of men and women. Reality is seen as
a world within a person's mind. Truth is to be found in the consistency of ideas. Goodness is an
ideal state, something to be strived for. Idealism would favor schools teaching subjects of the
mind, such as is found in most public school classrooms. Teachers, for the idealist, would be
models of ideal behavior. For idealists, the schools' function is to sharpen intellectual processes,
to present the wisdom of the ages, and to present models of behavior that are exemplary.
Students in such schools would have a somewhat passive role, receiving and memorizing the
reporting of the teacher. Change in the school program would generally be considered an
intrusion on the orderly process of educating.
For the realist, the world is as it is, and the job of schools would be to teach students about the
world. Goodness, for the realist, would be found in the laws of nature and the order of the
physical world. Truth would be the simple correspondences of observation. The realist would
favor a school dominated by subjects of the here-and-now world, such as math and science.
Students would be taught factual information for mastery. The teacher would impart knowledge
of this reality to students or display such reality for observation and study. Classrooms would be
highly ordered and disciplined, like nature, and the students would be passive participants in the
study of things. Changes in school would be perceived as a natural evolution toward a perfection
of order.
For the experimentalist, the world is an ever-changing place. Reality is what is actually
experienced. Truth is what presently functions. Goodness is what is accepted by public test.
Unlike the perennialist, idealist, and realist, The experimentalist openly accepts change and
continually seeks to discover new ways to expand and improve society. The experimentalist
would favor a school with heavy emphasis on social subjects and experiences. Learning would
occur through a problem-solving or inquiry format. Teachers would aid learners or consult with
learners who would be actively involved in discovering and experiencing the world in which
they live. Such an education program's focus on value development would factor in group
The existentialist sees the world as one personal subjectivity, where goodness, truth, and reality
are individually defined. Reality is a world of existing, truth subjectively chosen, and goodness a
matter of freedom.

Why is teaching a profession?

First let us define the meaning of the word teaching. Teaching means the work of a
teacher to provide knowledge and guidance. It is one of the oldest and noblest services to the
society in any culture. But the question arises why is teaching a profession.

Teaching not only shows the right path that the students should follow but also prepares
the human resource for the further development of the nation. It has the potential to have a great
impact in the molding of the next generation. That is why education should be valued by social
institutions like government, the church, the family and civil society. Therefore teaching is:
A process to impart knowledge and information
A process of causing change
A process to instruct and guide others

Teaching is the noblest among all the professions since all professionals underwent
education with a teacher. Its also a process to prepare the next generation of skilled
professionals and workers like politician, engineers, doctors, policemen, priests, educators,
legislators and good citizens. Teaching, therefore, is considered as a means for which God uses a
teacher as an instrument to touch lives.

Another important thing about the profession of teaching is that it enlightens both sides of
the teacher as well as the student. In this noble profession not only the students learn but the
teacher also learns the lessons of life from the innocent students also. So it is beneficial to both
of the sides.

Aristotle rightly said, Those who educate the children are more to be honored than they
who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well. So teaching is a
profession that provides an art of living. It is not only a duty but a moral duty. It is not a
profession but a noble service to the world to create a more beautiful and peaceful world.

Teaching is really a noble profession. Every one of us, including our nations Presidents
are the product of teaching.

The teacher is the one who molds a child into what he will be on the future. He is being
taught how to read and how to write, how to deal with others and how to deal with himself. The
knowledge of the teacher is being shared or transferred to the child from science, technology,
arts and values. And when the child is ready to pursue for a higher degree of education and
specialization, it is still the teacher who is guiding the child for him to attain his dreams and
No other profession is greater than teaching. Without teacher, there will be no Engineers
who will plan, design and manage the construction of buildings, roads, bridges, communication
facilities and other mechanical infrastructure. Doctors, scientists, politicians, etc, will not exist
without the teacher and the teaching process.