Why is it important for teachers to have an understanding of philosophy?

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Philosophy can be an academic discipline, where various viewpoints are compared and contrasted, but more important for teachers is an educational philosophy, a fairly thoroughly considered statement of what education is “about,” a “raison d’etre” for educating a certain way, whether “facts” are more or less important than “methodology,” whether testing has a punitive or a constructive function, what constitutes success in an educational environment, etc. On the college level, a teacher’s understanding of philosophy can help penetrate the material to be learned; for example, literature always benefits from a philosophical point of view; even mathematics can benefit by such inquiries as “Was mathematics invented or discovered?”  Finally, a teacher must keep in mind the way the brain works, and that requires a philosophical world-view.

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