The word education is used sometimes to signify the activity, process, or enterprise of educating or being educated and sometimes to signify the discipline or field of study taught in schools of education that concerns itself with this activity, process, or enterprise. More comprehensive theories of education rest their views about the aims and methods of education neither on the prevailing culture nor on compromise but on basic factual premises about humans and their world and on basic normative premises about what is good or right for individuals to seek or do. Proponents of such theories may reach their premises either by reason (including science) and philosophy or by faith and divine authority.
These collections deal with the nature and theory of the philosophy of education ( Archambault 1972 , Lucas 1969 ) or provide important and useful handbooks of philosophy of education ( Siegel 2009 ; Bailey, et al. 2010 ; Blake, et al. 2003 ). In the two anthologies included in this section, original texts of key thinkers are included ( Curren 2007 , Cahn 2009 ), while Cahn 2009 follows each original text with an interpretative essay.
When it comes to standing against the unorthodox trends in dominant culture, it is inconsistent to try to preserve a conservative stance in the areas of ethics and theology only to give full sway to the culture’s decay in one’s philosophy of education.
However, some works in this genre are among the classics of educational thought”—a more felicitous label than philosophy of education”; cases in point would be the essays, pamphlets and letters of Thomas Arnold (headmaster of Rugby school), John Wesley (the founder of Methodism), J.H. (Cardinal) Newman, T.H. Huxley, and the writings on progressive schooling by A.S. Neill (of Summerhill school).
To get to where you learn what education should do and how it should go about conducting its business, you have got to suffer through the greater part of this analytically wrought article, tackling the very idea of committing to one particular educational outlook as opposed to another.