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Philosophical Foundations of Education / Edition 9

Philosophical Foundations of Education / Edition 9

by Howard A. Ozmon


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Philosophical Foundations of Education / Edition 9

This survey of the various philosophies of education offers a balanced, critical treatment of each philosophy -- demonstrating its uses in, and affects on, educational practices. Discusses each philosophy individually -- Idealism, Realism, Eastern Philosophy, Religion, Pragmatism, Reconstructionism, Behaviorism, Existentialism, Phenomonology, Analytic Philosophy, Marxism, Postmodernism -- exploring the historical development, current status, influence on education, leading ideas, and selected readings of major philosophers for each. Covers significant new developments in philosophy -- particularly in realism, pragmatism, Marxism, and Post Modernism. Integrates information on the role of the teacher throughout. For educators at all levels.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900132540741
Publisher: Pearson
Publication date: 03/28/2011
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 7.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Dr Howard A. Ozmon is professor emeritus at Virginia Commonwealth University and the author of many articles and books on philosophy and education. Dr. Ozmon taught in public schools in New York and New Jersey, and has been a professor at several colleges and universities including Miami University (Ohio), the University of Virginia, William Paterson University (New Jersey), and Chicago State University, where he was chairman of the Department of Education. Dr. Ozmon continues to publish in scholarly journals and lectures widely. He is listed as a member of many professional organizations, has received many awards, and is included in Wikipedia. Additional information may be obtained by visiting his website at www.

Table of Contents

1. Idealism and Education.
2. Realism and Education.
3. Eastern Philosophy, Religion, and Education.
4. Pragmatism and Education.
5. Reconstructionism and Education.
6. Behaviorism and Education.
7. Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Education.
8. Analytic Philosophy and Education.
9. Marxism and Education.
10. Philosophy, Education, and the Challenge of Postmodernism.
Useful Web sites and Internet Links.
Selected Bibliography.


The purpose of this volume is to show how philosophical ideas about education developed over time, with due regard to historical influences and settings, and with an emphasis on how these ideas continue to have relevance for education and life. This book was conceived as an introductory text in the philosophy of education, but it leads students from simple to complex philosophical ideas. Many variables needed to be considered in selecting ideas, philosophers, and an organizational format, and the guiding rule for the book has been to select those influences that we believe have had the most relevance for education. Each chapter examines a general philosophy, such as realism, and shows its applications in aims, curriculum, methods, and teaching. An assessment of each philosophy also is provided, including how other scholars have viewed it.

Some ideas included here are more than 2,000 years old, but they often appear in the panoply of ideas that continue to influence people because old and new ideas are useful tools for evaluating the world. Idealism, though not a particularly influential philosophy today, might be a useful counterpoint by which to compare and evaluate today's materialist culture. Marxism and existentialism, though declining in popularity, still might be useful paradigms for examining a person's individual life and his or her relationship with other persons in the larger society.

The philosophies of education presented here are essentially arranged in chronological order, which helps the student see how ideas evolved. We have tried to avoid unnecessary philosophical and educational jargon, but one needs to know a terminology to talk about ideasin a philosophical fashion. Technical expression is kept to a minimum, however. With regard to format, we realize that not all philosophers agree with a "systems" or "schools" approach and that this issue has serious pros and cons. We do believe that for beginning students, often those who might be encountering philosophy for the first time, the benefits of this organizational approach outweigh the disadvantages because it provides a useful way of synthesizing ideas.

The study of philosophy of education should help sharpen students' ideas about education and give them ways to think about education in a broad sense. The study of philosophy not only assists students in developing necessary analytical skills and encourages critical perspectives but also provides useful perspectives on the importance of education. It is impossible to include in a volume of this size every philosopher or every leading philosophical idea that has had some educational importance, but we hope that the material presented will stimulate students to explore further the philosophical foundations of education and to cultivate ideas about education and life.

Organization of the Book

By presenting several philosophical positions and showing how philosophy developed in an organized and orderly fashion, we hope the reader will be better able to grasp the essential elements and basic principles of each philosophy and to set how they have influenced educational theory and practice.

However, the organization of the book by schools of thought is not meant to foster slavish emulation of any one school, combination of schools, or even a school approach. The usefulness of this approach lies in showing the following:

  • How past philosophy developed.
  • How it has been organized.
  • How it has been used to help devise educational policies and practices.

After all, the major role of philosophy in education is not to formulate some grand scheme but to help develop the educator's thinking capacities.

The creative genius of individuals, combined with particular cultural developments, produced philosophies of education. Individual philosophers seldom set out simply to construct a system, and many of them reject being identified with any school of thought. The cutting edge of philosophy is not a system, but free and wide-ranging thought grappling with human problems. Perhaps the test of any era of human history is not whether it built a system to bind together irreconcilable conflicts but how it enabled the resolution of those conflicts. Each era, however, also must write its own "philosophy" or consensus anew.

New Features of the Seventh Edition

  • General editing and updating of each chapter
  • Revisions in idealism, Eastern philosophy, pragmatism, and postmodernism
  • Updating of selected readings and bibliographic material
  • Online Research activities using the Companion Website
  • Useful Web sites and Internet links

Chapter Organization

Each chapter provides a discussion of a specific philosophy and

  • Its historical development.
  • Its current status.
  • Its influence on education.
  • A critique of its leading ideas.
  • Online Research activities.
  • Readings by major philosophers and theorists (primary source materials).

Taken together, these chapters provide a chronological development of philosophy of education. In addition, each chapter is followed by an annotated listing of selected readings by philosophers who have been identified with that philosophy or who offer important criticisms and insights about it. The selections have been chosen carefully to illustrate leading themes in each chapter. They also have been selected to furnish students with additional primary source materials of sufficient length and depth to provide some firsthand acquaintance with leading works in the field. These selections are meant to give insight without overwhelming students and to whet their appetite to do further reading in philosophy of education from the philosophers themselves.


The instructor's manual for this textbook contains chapter overviews, projects, identifications (words from each chapter that students are asked to identify), discussion and essay questions, as well as multiple choice questions. This manual can be obtained by contacting your Prentice Hall sales representative or by calling Prentice Hall's Faculty Field Services at 800-526-0485.

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