Philosophy of Education
This fifteen-part video course covers philosophical issues that bear directly upon education. Professor Hicks discuss the philosophers — Plato, Locke, Kant, Dewey, and others — who have influenced education greatly, and he compares systems of educational philosophy and their implications for education in practice. This course presupposes no formal knowledge of philosophy or education.
Jump to Part 1: Introduction to the Course. Part 2: Metaphysics. Part 3: Epistemology. Part 4: Human Nature. Part 5: Ethics. Part 6: Transition. Part 7: Idealism. Part 8: Realism. Part 9: Pragmatism. Part 10: Behaviorism. Part 11: Existentialism. Part 12: Objectivism. Part 13: Marxism. Part 14: Postmodernism. Part 15: Conclusion. Appendix.
“Philosophy” of “Education”
What education is
Some philosophical questions about education
What philosophy is
The relevance of philosophy to education
Motivation for the course
[View all of Part 1 at YouTube.]
Introducing metaphysics: our hybrid civilization
Two philosophical stories:
The Semmelweis case The “Juliet is the sun” metaphor Education’s epistemological mission Asch’s conformity experiments Milgram’s obedience experiments Two more virtues: independence and courage The value of reason
From reason to faith:
Phase One: Copernicus, Bruno, and Galileo Phase Two: the rise of natural theology Phase Three: “I found it necessary to deny reason … ”
Kierkegaard, Luther, and Tertullian The story of Abraham Kierkegaard’s lesson: Abraham as model of faith
Dualism of mind and body Reductive materialism Integrationism Mottos and graphics Reasons for and against dualism
Implications for education
Preamble: What is the meaning of life? Nature or Supernature [Where?] Reason or Non-reason (faith, tradition, feeling) [How?] Universal or Relative [When?] Teleology or Deontology [Why?] Egoism or Altruism [Who?] Values and virtues: health, wealth, pleasure, friendship … [What?]
Two ethical traditions: Greco-Roman and Judeo-Christianity Declaration of Independence and a priest’s vows
What is the meaning of life? Egoism: end in oneself, self-responsibility, investment, achievement Egoism’s educational mission
Predation’s solution: power, aggression, win/lose Altruism’s solution: selflessness, sacrifice, lose/win service to others
[View all of Part 5 at YouTube.]
From issues to “isms”
Philosophy “horizontally”: metaphysics, epistemology, human nature, ethics Philosophy “vertically”: integrating positions into systems Placing our seven “isms" Why those seven: influence on contemporary education and philosophical diversity
Six primary educational values
Knowledge, Method, Skills, Individuality, Socialization, Morality Implications: hiring teachers, curriculum, assessment Quotations on the six educational values
The Allegory of the Cave
Obedience, imposed discipline, disobedience, punishment
3 R’s, foundational knowledge and methods Example: Science, math, and technology Example: Physical education Example: Art
Theory and practice integrated
Example: Younger kids and baseball math Example: Middle-school kids and bike-jumping Example: High school kids, auto mechanics and theater
Evolution, skepticism, and democracy
Groups and socialization Teacher as facilitator Historical “truth”
Psychology and the progression of the sciences 20th century psychology: Freud, Behaviorism, Cognitivism Two preconditions for a science of psychology On scientific observation On correlating cause and effect: The "standard model" in psychology The problem with the standard model The behaviorist solution Black box methodology The assumption of environmental determinism
Behaviorist education, with quotations from John Watson and B. F. Skinner
Behaviorism as a how of education, not a what 2 x 2 chart of techniques Applying what we’ve learned from psychology Overcoming the resistance to conditioning: Resistance 1: Behaviorism sounds so authoritarian Resistance 2: Behaviorism makes teachers too accountable
God is dead Albert Camus and “The Myth of Sisyphus” Jean-Paul Sartre and “Existence precedes essence” Religion and science as dehumanizing Authentic humanism
Existentialism’s educational implications
General themes: choice, commitment, responsibility Curriculum Assessment Individualism? Contra the good-news-sunny-skies approach to life
Value philosophy — Romanticism, Liberalism, Egoism:
Metaphysics and Epistemology:
"Primacy of Existence" Consciousness as Relational Objectivity Empiricism Cognitive tabula rasa Francis Bacon's “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed”
Ethics and social philosophy:
Individualism: self-responsible living and the virtues Egoism versus the false alternative of altruism or predation Optimism: philosophy and history
Ayn Rand on education:
The purpose of education Howard Roark’s expulsion as example Critique of mainstream education Rand on Montessori
Montessori practices and principles The compatibility of Objectivist philosophy and Montessori education
[View all of Part 12 at YouTube.]
[Further reading: Ayn Rand, "The Comprachicos" (at ebookbrowse.net). Quotations from Rand on philosophy and education (pdf). Quotations from Maria Montessori on education (pdf).]
The science in “scientific socialism”: Materialism Environmental determinism Economic forces as fundamental Philosophy, art, politics, and religion as superstructure Religion as an example The socialism in “scientific socialism”: Necessary economic developmental stages Capitalism’s dynamic: “The rich get richer ...” Revolution, not evolution Religion as the opium of the masses The role of teachers in developing revolutionaries
Marxist teachers in a capitalist system Education during the dictatorship of the proletariat Education under socialism
Introduction What modernism is The Enlightenment vision Post-modernism’s themes Quotations from Foucault, Lyotard, Derrida Problems from Marxism Pomo: skeptical relativistic rhetoric against modern society
Henry Giroux on education
What is the value of Philosophy of Education? Personal growth One's professional mission as a teacher Understanding the contemporary school system Progress and reform Our students
[View all of Part 15 at YouTube.]
Course flyer and table of contents for the lecture series.
Supplemental readings booklet: Philosophy of Education [pdf].
These video-lectures can also be viewed via playlists at CEE’s channel at YouTube or at the Center for Ethics and Entrepreneurship’s site.
The lectures were recorded during the 2009-2010 academic year.
A complete listing of my education-related posts.
Return to the StephenHicks.org main page.