Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939584 | Print ISBN: 9780761930877 | Online ISBN: 9781412939584| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Idealism, as Philosophy in Education
Idealism describes philosophies that assume that reality is essentially mental or spiritual, human selfhood is central to understanding life and the world, humans come to know truth by examining their own ideas, and goodness is best described in terms of conformity with mental or spiritual ideas. Thus it may be more accurate to describe it as idea-ism . Idealism focuses on the self and on the development of individuals to bring them through education to appreciation of and conformity with transcendent spiritual or mental ideas. Thus, idealism is fundamentally opposed to naturalism and sees the purpose of education not in society's needs but in the need to pursue a spiritual ideal. This implies that one role of the educational leader is to keep the focus on the spiritual and the transcendent, so that the philosopher and administrator are united in the same person. But in general, educational administration and leadership ...