In chapter 3, Ozmon and Craver (2013) recognize the contribution of religion in influencing the ways of thinking of different people. With a particular focus on the philosophy of education and eastern philosophy, the author’s main idea is that Japan, India, China, and the Middle East have common threads although the four main regions have different cultures. He emphasizes, “Eastern philosophies, unlike west, are more empirical philosophies, stress intuition, inner peace, tranquility, attitudinal development, and mysticism” (Ozmon & Craver, 2013, p.80). From this philosophical paradigm, education aims to avail information that would enable learners to appreciate and understand the forces of nature in a better way (Ozmon & Craver, 2013, p.106).
Eastern philosophy also emphasizes moral values coupled with the roles of super deity in shaping human behavior. This suggests the existence of some forces in nature with which people must comply. People are essentially aware of these forces unless they are taught about them. The teaching and learning should interact in such a manner that the cultural norms and moral values are made known to learners. To an educationist, this means that a teacher ought to possess more experience and know-how on the materials that should be taught to students if the learning process has to be successful.
From the philosophical paradigm of pragmatism, schools deserve to teach what is observable or what can be experienced in real life. Axtelle (1998) supports this assertion by claiming, “Unlike realists and rationalists, pragmatics believe that reality is constantly changing and that we learn best through applying our experiences and thoughts to problems as they rise” (p.7). This implies that education should have the capacity to prepare students to seek solutions to such crises as they emerge in the future. In American schools, elements of pragmatism have influenced schools in different magnitudes.
However, according to Ozmon and Craver (2013), no direct reference is made to this school of thought in influencing learning and teaching methods (p.137). For instance, education systems place hefty emphasis on the role of projects and teaching techniques, which encourage the development of problem-solving skills and experimentation. Every school requires students to work in groups to develop a teamwork culture. All these are pragmatism endeavors in education to influence learning processes in schools. To educationists, using the philosophy of pragmatism in education influences an educator in the sense that he or she would focus on helping learners to apply the knowledge gained in class to various situations that are encountered in real life via experimental inquires.
Axtelle, G. (1998). Pragmatism in Education. Journal of Studies in Philosophy and Education, 6(1), 6-13.
Ozmon, H., & Craver, S. (2013). Philosophical Foundations of Education. Virginia Commonwealth University: Pearson.