Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963992 | Print ISBN: 9781412906784 | Online ISBN: 9781412963992| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Joan K. Smith
Biography is a useful way to focus on the major educational theories that have shaped Western education and schooling across the last 2,500 years. Tying educational theorists' and philosophers' work to their lives connects the abstract to the practical, for life includes the internal realities of the mind as well as the daily practice of living. As Barbara Tuchman has pointed out, biography is similar to a prism because it keeps people's attention on the larger subject through their interest in other people. The biographies and theories included in this entry are representative of those who have left a substantial written legacy of important ideas and theories that have helped to shape the educational landscape. The ancient Greek and Roman philosophers had and continue to have a major impact on educational traditions in Europe and the Americas. Plato (428–347 BCE) came from an aristocratic Athenian family and had one sister, ...