Philosophical Perspectives ('Tis Not Mine)

A. Philosophical Perspectives and Their Key Proponents

Philosophy plays an important part on education. It provides a sense of direction in this precarious and unpredictable world. Every person, whether an educator or not has to live with a philosophy for philosophy is a guiding force in one’s life. Before a professional knowledge is to be implemented in the school setting, it is necessary to have profound and sound philosophical considerations. Philosophical leanings play a central role in shaping a school’s mission and overall program direction. The following are some of the known philosophical perspectives in education. It is discussed briefly together with the key proponents of each.

  1. Realism
Realism is a philosophical doctrine that believes that universals have a real objective existence; that the objects of sense perception have an existence independent of the act of perception. Realism is based on what is real as they are; something that exist independently of all other things and from which all other things are derived.
Realists believe that reality exists independently of the human mind. The ultimate reality is the world of physical objects. The focus is on the body/objects. Truth is objective – what can be observed. Aristotle, a student of Plato who broke with his mentor’s idealist philosophy, is called the Father of both Realism and the scientific method. In this metaphysical view, the aim is to understand objective reality through “the diligent and unsparing scrutiny of all observable data.” Aristotle believed that to understand an object, its ultimate form had to be understood, which does not change. For example, a rose exists whether or not a person is aware of it. A rose can exist in the mind without being physically present, but ultimately, the rose shares properties with all other roses and flowers, although one rose may be red and another peach colored. Aristotle also was the first to teach logic as a formal discipline in order to...