Job training was also emphasized, and boys gained valuable experience through apprenticeships. Mothers, though, cannot be overlooked for their roles as moral educators and character builders of their children. Cornelia Africana , the mother of the Gracchi , is even credited as a major cause of her sons' renowned eloquence.
Perhaps the most important role of the parents in their children's education was to instill in them a respect for tradition and a firm comprehension of pietas , or devotion to duty. For a boy, this meant devotion to the state, and for a girl, devotion to her husband and family. As the Roman Republic transitioned into a more formal education beyond the 3 R's, parents began to hire teachers for this level of advanced academic training. For this, "the Romans began to bring Greek slaves to Rome" to further enrich their children's knowledge and potential; yet, Romans still always cherished the tradition of pietas and the ideal of the father as his child's teacher.
Rome as a republic or an empire never formally instituted a state-sponsored form of elementary education. It was typical for Roman children of wealthy families to receive their early education from private tutors.
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However, it was common for children of more humble means to be instructed in a primary school, traditionally known as a ludus litterarius. They could be found in a variety of places, anywhere from a private residence to a gymnasium, or even in the street. Typically, elementary education in the Roman world focused on the requirements of everyday life, reading, and writing. The students would progress up from reading and writing letters, to syllables, to word lists, eventually memorizing and dictating texts. There was little sense of a class as a cohesive unit, exemplified by students coming and going at different times throughout the day.
Their performance was measured through exercises that were either corrected or applauded based on performance. This created an unavoidable sense of competition amongst students. Using a competitive educational system, Romans developed a form of social control that allowed elites to maintain class stability. At between nine and twelve years of age, boys from affluent families would leave their 'litterator' behind and take up study with a grammaticus , who honed his students' writing and speaking skills, versed them in the art of poetic analysis and taught them Greek if they did not yet know it.
Daily activities included lectures by the grammaticus enarratio , expressive reading of poetry lectio and the analysis of poetry partitio. Famous grammatici include Lucius Orbilius Pupillus , who still serves as the quintessential pedagogue that isn't afraid to flog or whip his students to drive a point home,  and the freedman Marcus Verrius Flaccus , who gained imperial patronage and a widespread tutelage due to his novel practice of pitting students of similar age and ability against each other and rewarding the winner with a prize, usually an old book of some rarity.
Even at the height of his career, Verrius Flaccus, whose prestige allowed him to charge enormous fees and be hired by Augustus to teach his grandsons, never had his own schoolroom. Though both literary and documentary sources interchange the various titles for a teacher and often use the most general of terms as a catch-all, a price edict issued by Diocletian in AD proves that such distinctions did in fact exist and that a litterator , grammaticus or rhetor , at least in theory, had to define himself as such. Children continued their studies with the grammaticus until the age of fourteen or fifteen, at which point only the wealthiest and most promising students matriculated with a rhetor.
The rhetor was the final stage in Roman education. Very few boys went on to study rhetoric. Early on in Roman history, it may have been the only way to train as a lawyer or politician. In early Roman times, rhetoric studies were not taught exclusively through a teacher, but were learned through a student's careful observation of his elders. The orator, or student of rhetoric, was important in Roman society because of the constant political strife that occurred throughout Roman history. These students also learned other subjects such as geography, music, philosophy, literature, mythology and geometry.
Unlike other forms of Roman education, there is not much evidence to show that the rhetor level was available to be pursued in organized school. Because of this lack of evidence, it is assumed that the education was done through the previously mentioned private tutors. In fact, their influence was so great that the Roman government expelled many rhetoricians and philosophers in BC. There were two fields of oratory study that were available for young men.
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Bell, R. Razfar Vol. LOST opportunities: Learning in out-of-school time pp. In all this the philosopher of education prizes conceptual clarity, argumentative rigor, the fair-minded consideration of the interests of all involved in or affected by educational efforts and arrangements, and informed and well-reasoned valuation of educational aims and interventions. Many of the most distinguished figures in that tradition incorporated educational concerns into their broader philosophical agendas Curren , ; Rorty While that history is not the focus here, it is worth noting that the ideals of reasoned inquiry championed by Socrates and his descendants have long informed the view that education should foster in all students, to the extent possible, the disposition to seek reasons and the ability to evaluate them cogently, and to be guided by their evaluations in matters of belief, action and judgment.
This view, that education centrally involves the fostering of reason or rationality, has with varying articulations and qualifications been embraced by most of those historical figures; it continues to be defended by contemporary philosophers of education as well Scheffler ; Siegel , , , As with any philosophical thesis it is controversial; some dimensions of the controversy are explored below. This entry is a selective survey of important contemporary work in Anglophone philosophy of education; it does not treat in detail recent scholarship outside that context.
Suffice it to say that some philosophers, as well as focusing inward on the abstract philosophical issues that concern them, are drawn outwards to discuss or comment on issues that are more commonly regarded as falling within the purview of professional educators, educational researchers, policy-makers and the like. An example is Michael Scriven, who in his early career was a prominent philosopher of science; later he became a central figure in the development of the field of evaluation of educational and social programs. See Scriven a, b.
At the same time, there are professionals in the educational or closely related spheres who are drawn to discuss one or another of the philosophical issues that they encounter in the course of their work. An example here is the behaviorist psychologist B. Skinner, the central figure in the development of operant conditioning and programmed learning, who in works such as Walden Two and Beyond Freedom and Dignity grappled—albeit controversially—with major philosophical issues that were related to his work.
What makes the field even more amorphous is the existence of works on educational topics, written by well-regarded philosophers who have made major contributions to their discipline; these educational reflections have little or no philosophical content, illustrating the truth that philosophers do not always write philosophy. However, despite this, works in this genre have often been treated as contributions to philosophy of education. See Park Finally, as indicated earlier, the domain of education is vast, the issues it raises are almost overwhelmingly numerous and are of great complexity, and the social significance of the field is second to none.
These features make the phenomena and problems of education of great interest to a wide range of socially-concerned intellectuals, who bring with them their own favored conceptual frameworks—concepts, theories and ideologies, methods of analysis and argumentation, metaphysical and other assumptions, and the like. It is not surprising that scholars who work in this broad genre also find a home in the field of philosophy of education. As a result of these various factors, the significant intellectual and social trends of the past few centuries, together with the significant developments in philosophy, all have had an impact on the content of arguments and methods of argumentation in philosophy of education—Marxism, psycho-analysis, existentialism, phenomenology, positivism, post-modernism, pragmatism, neo-liberalism, the several waves of feminism, analytic philosophy in both its ordinary language and more formal guises, are merely the tip of the iceberg.
Conceptual analysis, careful assessment of arguments, the rooting out of ambiguity, the drawing of clarifying distinctions—all of which are at least part of the philosophical toolkit—have been respected activities within philosophy from the dawn of the field. No doubt it somewhat over-simplifies the complex path of intellectual history to suggest that what happened in the twentieth century—early on, in the home discipline itself, and with a lag of a decade or more in philosophy of education—is that philosophical analysis came to be viewed by some scholars as being the major philosophical activity or set of activities , or even as being the only viable or reputable activity.
The pioneering work in the modern period entirely in an analytic mode was the short monograph by C. Hardie, Truth and Fallacy in Educational Theory ; reissued in In his Introduction, Hardie who had studied with C. Broad and I. Richards made it clear that he was putting all his eggs into the ordinary-language-analysis basket:. The Cambridge analytical school, led by Moore, Broad and Wittgenstein, has attempted so to analyse propositions that it will always be apparent whether the disagreement between philosophers is one concerning matters of fact, or is one concerning the use of words, or is, as is frequently the case, a purely emotive one.
It is time, I think, that a similar attitude became common in the field of educational theory. Hardie xix. About a decade after the end of the Second World War the floodgates opened and a stream of work in the analytic mode appeared; the following is merely a sample. Siegel Smith and R. Ennis edited the volume Language and Concepts in Education ; and R. Archambault edited Philosophical Analysis and Education , consisting of essays by a number of prominent British writers, most notably R. Among the most influential products of APE was the analysis developed by Hirst and Peters and Peters of the concept of education itself.
A criminal who has been reformed has changed for the better, and has developed a commitment to the new mode of life if one or other of these conditions does not hold, a speaker of standard English would not say the criminal has been reformed. Clearly the analogy with reform breaks down with respect to the knowledge and understanding conditions. The concept of indoctrination was also of great interest to analytic philosophers of education, for, it was argued, getting clear about precisely what constitutes indoctrination also would serve to clarify the border that demarcates it from acceptable educational processes.
Thus, whether or not an instructional episode was a case of indoctrination was determined by the content taught, the intention of the instructor, the methods of instruction used, the outcomes of the instruction, or by some combination of these. Adherents of the different analyses used the same general type of argument to make their case, namely, appeal to normal and aberrant usage.
Unfortunately, ordinary language analysis did not lead to unanimity of opinion about where this border was located, and rival analyses of the concept were put forward Snook Scheffler [ 9—10]. After a period of dominance, for a number of important reasons the influence of APE went into decline. First, there were growing criticisms that the work of analytic philosophers of education had become focused upon minutiae and in the main was bereft of practical import.
It is worth noting that a article in Time , reprinted in Lucas , had put forward the same criticism of mainstream philosophy. See Mehta Fourth, during the decade of the seventies when these various critiques of analytic philosophy were in the process of eroding its luster, a spate of translations from the Continent stimulated some philosophers of education in Britain and North America to set out in new directions, and to adopt a new style of writing and argumentation.
In more recent years all these trends have continued. APE was and is no longer the center of interest, although, as indicated below, it still retains its voice. As was stressed at the outset, the field of education is huge and contains within it a virtually inexhaustible number of issues that are of philosophical interest.
To attempt comprehensive coverage of how philosophers of education have been working within this thicket would be a quixotic task for a large single volume and is out of the question for a solitary encyclopedia entry. Nevertheless, a valiant attempt to give an overview was made in A Companion to the Philosophy of Education Curren , which contains more than six-hundred pages divided into forty-five chapters each of which surveys a subfield of work. The following random selection of chapter topics gives a sense of the enormous scope of the field: Sex education, special education, science education, aesthetic education, theories of teaching and learning, religious education, knowledge, truth and learning, cultivating reason, the measurement of learning, multicultural education, education and the politics of identity, education and standards of living, motivation and classroom management, feminism, critical theory, postmodernism, romanticism, the purposes of universities, affirmative action in higher education, and professional education.
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education Siegel contains a similarly broad range of articles on among other things the epistemic and moral aims of education, liberal education and its imminent demise, thinking and reasoning, fallibilism and fallibility, indoctrination, authenticity, the development of rationality, Socratic teaching, educating the imagination, caring and empathy in moral education, the limits of moral education, the cultivation of character, values education, curriculum and the value of knowledge, education and democracy, art and education, science education and religious toleration, constructivism and scientific methods, multicultural education, prejudice, authority and the interests of children, and on pragmatist, feminist, and postmodernist approaches to philosophy of education.
Given this enormous range, there is no non-arbitrary way to select a small number of topics for further discussion, nor can the topics that are chosen be pursued in great depth. The issue of what should be taught to students at all levels of education—the issue of curriculum content—obviously is a fundamental one, and it is an extraordinarily difficult one with which to grapple.
In tackling it, care needs to be taken to distinguish between education and schooling—for although education can occur in schools, so can mis-education, and many other things can take place there that are educationally orthogonal such as the provision of free or subsidized lunches and the development of social networks ; and it also must be recognized that education can occur in the home, in libraries and museums, in churches and clubs, in solitary interaction with the public media, and the like. In developing a curriculum whether in a specific subject area, or more broadly as the whole range of offerings in an educational institution or system , a number of difficult decisions need to be made.
Issues such as the proper ordering or sequencing of topics in the chosen subject, the time to be allocated to each topic, the lab work or excursions or projects that are appropriate for particular topics, can all be regarded as technical issues best resolved either by educationists who have a depth of experience with the target age group or by experts in the psychology of learning and the like. Is the justification that is given for teaching Economics in some schools coherent and convincing? The justifications offered for all such aims have been controversial, and alternative justifications of a single proposed aim can provoke philosophical controversy.
Consider the aim of autonomy. These two formulations are related, for it is arguable that our educational institutions should aim to equip individuals to pursue this good life—although this is not obvious, both because it is not clear that there is one conception of the good or flourishing life that is the good or flourishing life for everyone, and it is not clear that this is a question that should be settled in advance rather than determined by students for themselves. Thus, for example, if our view of human flourishing includes the capacity to think and act autonomously, then the case can be made that educational institutions—and their curricula—should aim to prepare, or help to prepare, autonomous individuals.
A rival justification of the aim of autonomy, associated with Kant, champions the educational fostering of autonomy not on the basis of its contribution to human flourishing, but rather the obligation to treat students with respect as persons Scheffler ; Siegel It is also possible to reject the fostering of autonomy as an educational aim Hand Assuming that the aim can be justified, how students should be helped to become autonomous or develop a conception of the good life and pursue it is of course not immediately obvious, and much philosophical ink has been spilled on the general question of how best to determine curriculum content.
One influential line of argument was developed by Paul Hirst, who argued that knowledge is essential for developing and then pursuing a conception of the good life, and because logical analysis shows, he argued, that there are seven basic forms of knowledge, the case can be made that the function of the curriculum is to introduce students to each of these forms Hirst ; see Phillips ch. Scheffler [ —5]. In the closing decades of the twentieth century there were numerous discussions of curriculum theory, particularly from Marxist and postmodern perspectives, that offered the sobering analysis that in many educational systems, including those in Western democracies, the curriculum did indeed reflect and serve the interests of powerful cultural elites.
A closely related question is this: ought educational institutions be designed to further pre-determined social ends, or rather to enable students to competently evaluate all such ends? Scheffler argued that we should opt for the latter: we must. The function of education…is rather to liberate the mind, strengthen its critical powers, [and] inform it with knowledge and the capacity for independent inquiry.
Scheffler [ ]. Third, should educational programs at the elementary and secondary levels be made up of a number of disparate offerings, so that individuals with different interests and abilities and affinities for learning can pursue curricula that are suitable? Or should every student pursue the same curriculum as far as each is able?