7 Educational Philosophy

Understanding Educational Philosophy

Definition of Educational Philosophy

Educational philosophy is a well-thought-out set of ideas that teachers use to guide their teaching and to help their students learn effectively. Imagine it as a compass that helps educators to chart a course through the teaching process, making sure students grasp and reflect on the world around them. It’s like having answers to big questions like “why are we studying this?” and “how can we best understand and remember it?”

Think of educational philosophy as the personal beliefs a teacher has about education. It forms the backbone of how they plan their lessons and choose teaching methods. It evolves from deep thought about the nature of knowledge, understanding, and the significance of different subjects. When teachers create their educational philosophy, they’re outlining the educational adventure they want to embark on with their students.

Types of Educational Philosophy

Let’s talk about the different types of educational philosophy out there:

Each type has its own way of looking at what should be taught, how to teach it, and why it’s useful to know.

Examples of 7 Educational Philosophy

  • Perennialism: This type believes that certain ideas are timeless. For example, reading Shakespeare or Plato because these works have universal lessons that stay relevant. This is an example of perennialism because it’s all about timeless knowledge that applies to everyone, no matter the time period.
  • Essentialism: Here, it’s about the must-haves in education. Think of math, reading, and science – really important skills and information that everyone should master. Essentialism is practiced when schools focus on these core subjects because they’re considered essential for success in life.
  • Progressivism: This philosophy is centered on learning through action. Students take part in hands-on activities, which helps them develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Progressivism is seen when classes are based on real-world experiments and discussions rather than rote memorization.
  • Reconstructionism: With this approach, education serves as a tool to improve society. Classes may focus on social justice and making a positive impact on the world. Reconstructionism is found in community service projects and classes about social change because they prepare students to tackle societal issues.
  • Existentialism: In this philosophy, students have the power to choose what and how they learn based on their personal interests. It’s evident when schools allow students to design their own projects or choose elective courses that align with their passions.

Why is it Important?

Educational philosophy is incredibly important because it gives teachers a framework to build their teaching strategies. It helps to pinpoint what’s most valuable for students to know, the most effective ways for them to learn, and provides a rationale for educational practices. It’s like choosing the right lens to view teaching objectives clearly, ensuring that each student has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

For the average person, understanding educational philosophy means appreciating why certain subjects are taught, or why certain teaching methods are used. It influences how education shapes not just individual students but also society at large. By understanding different educational philosophies, parents can better engage with their children’s learning and students can take a more active role in their own education.


The concept of educational philosophy dates back to when influential thinkers began to ponder profound questions about what it means to know, to learn, and to teach. Throughout history, philosophers like Plato and educators like Montessori have contributed their insights, gradually refining our understanding of education.


Education is a field ripe with debate. People disagree on whether standardized testing is effective, what choices students should have in their learning, and how much technology is appropriate in the classroom. These debates make sure that we continually strive to improve our educational systems.

Related Topics

  • Curriculum Development: This involves crafting the content that students learn. Curriculum development is influenced by educational philosophy because the content taught should align with the educational values and goals of the philosophy.
  • Teaching Methods: These are the different strategies and practices teachers employ to facilitate learning. The choice of teaching methods is informed by the educational philosophy, with some philosophies advocating for more interactive and student-driven methods than others.
  • Student-Centered Learning: This approach ensures that educational experiences tailor to the individual needs of each student. It’s closely related to educational philosophies like humanism, which prioritize personal growth and individual learning experiences.
  • Social-Emotional Learning (SEL): SEL aims to help students develop a healthy sense of self, strong relationship skills, and emotional intelligence. This area of education is connected to philosophies that regard the student’s emotional development as equally important to academic success.


Educational philosophy provides teachers with a blueprint for their classroom’s instructional journey. It influences the choices teachers make to ensure students engage with essential life lessons and develop self-awareness. Understanding these educational philosophies enables us to create learning environments that empower each student. It’s not just about accumulating facts or mastering skills; educational philosophy underscores the importance of nurturing well-rounded, critically thinking individuals. When we know about different educational philosophies, whether we’re teachers, parents, or students, we can approach education more meaningfully and effectively, fostering growth that transcends the classroom.