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Social Aims of Education «FR»

»The purpose of this research is to examine issues surrounding the social aims of education and the appropriate emphasis of educational praxis, as features of a philosophy of education. The plan of the research will be to set forth the context in which these issues arise, and then to discuss a philosophy of education that has as its objective the maximal achievement of well-developed, well-rounded human beings who are the product of a strong, effective, and socially sanctioned educational environment.

Education was once thought to be the proper province of the aristocracy but not of the masses. Theories of learning and types of schools that emerged in the Renaissance and even after the Reformation were in most cases directed toward the upper classes. Theories of democratic as opposed to aristocratic education appear to have emerged in the nineteenth century, particularly in democratic societies. Education in a democratic society, explains Scheffler, "precludes the conception of education as an instrument of rule . . . . The function of education in a democracy is rather to liberate the mind, strengthen its critical powers, inform it with knowledge . . . and illuminate its moral and practical choices" (Scheffler, 1985, p. 124).

Within the democratic context, there has also arisen the impulse toward the formalized administration of educational structures, not all of which have served the needs of learning (Whitehead, 1949). Specifically, Whitehead refers to the twin problems of education that "suffers from a lack of definite aim, and from an external machinery which kills its vitality" (Whitehead, 1949, p. 25). On the other hand, a good deal of lip service is paid, by institutions, to the issue of education as the means by which one's full potential can be reached, even as there is great evidence of a "tendency to presuppose fixed potentials in the student and to characterize educational goals in terms of their fullest exercise" (S...

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Social Aims of Education «FR». (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:24, October 22, 2014, from