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The greatest philosophers have been teachers. Socrates taught Plato. Plato taught Aristotle. Aristotle taught Alexander.
The two disciplines are irrevocably linked. In fact, there is a course at Columbia which addresses this duality:
Some of the main points:
The Philosophy and Education program at Teachers College, Columbia University, centers around two closely related convictions:
1. that philosophical reflection and inquiry is indispensable for generating sound educational practice, and
2. that educational practice is indispensable for bringing philosophical reflection and inquiry to life.
Other links between the two revolve around inquiry (asking thoughtful questions):
What is teaching?
What is worth knowing and studying?
AND - the nuts and bolts:
What is an educational "policy"? Is it a blueprint? A prescription? A suggestion? A hope? A political trade-off? All or none of these? Should educational policy be guided by particular political, social, cultural, or other values, and if so, which ones? And how do we make sense of, and criticize, the ways people conceive what is good, and then translate their conceptions into concrete policy?
What do we mean by "learning" and "human development"? Are these processes and events cumulative, or even progressive? Do human beings typically become better able, or less able, to dwell in the world? Do human beings construct meaning? Make meaning? Discover meaning? Absorb meaning? And what are human beings -- what is a self, what is a person? What kind of response should educators have to these questions to guide them in their work?
What is an "educative experience"? Why are people moved, enlightened, enriched, and transformed by some experiences and not by others? How can perspectives on art and artistic endeavor, on the relation between the mind, the body, and the heart, and on religion and the spiritual life, help us in grasping the nature and contours of meaningful experience?
While there might be different approaches in addressing this question, I cannot conceive of an answer being divergent from the belief that education and philosophy are linked. Simply put, an educator has a philosophy or belief of how children learn and how instruction should be delivered. This might be where there is divergence in thought, but all can agree that education and the philosophy behind it are of critical importance. Teachers must have some type of philosophy, or a set of core values, that guides instruction, assessment, interaction with students, and the premise of pedagogy. For any teacher to lack this before entering a classroom jeopardizes their effectiveness and student learning. In the final analysis, all teachers possess some type of fundamental belief of what they do and why they do it, which is the essence of philosophy.
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