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
Philosophies of Education
Robert L. Sanders
Teaching and learning are guided by a variety of beliefs and principles that direct the practice of administrators and faculty responsible for these educational activities. These beliefs and principles make up a philosophy of education that can be used to guide decision making and practice. These philosophies are widely discussed and debated, subsequently giving rise to several schools of thought regarding how institutions of learning should be structured and organized and what teaching and learning look like within these institutions. Six commonly debated philosophies include essentialism, behaviorism, perennialism, humanism, existentialism, progressivism, and social reconstructionism. This list is neither exhaustive nor agreed upon that all schools of thought should, in fact, be included. Each school of thought does provide a unique perspective on educational practices and will, therefore, be treated as distinctive and legitimate. Depending on the philosophy to which one subscribes, the structure and organization of the instructional environment and ...