Philosophy of education can refer to either the academic field of applied philosophy or to one of any educational philosophies that promote a specific type or vision of education , and/or which examine the definition, goals and meaning of education. Human moral reasoning works to harmonize the contradictions involved in a situation to find a new way to deal with it. Thus, if one acts in a new way which is not habitual or customary, and finds good consequences of his actions, then, such a novel attitude helps in growth.20 For Dewey, growth is the greatest achievement for both individual and society.
However, there is another consequence of this institutional housing of the vast majority of philosophers of education that is worth noting—one that is not found in a comparable way in philosophers of science, for example, who almost always are located in departments of philosophy—namely, that experience as a teacher, or in some other education-related role, is a qualification to become a philosopher of education that in many cases is valued at least as much as depth of philosophical training.
The benign neglect” of philosophy of education by the general philosophical community—an area central to philosophy since Socrates and Plato—not only deprives the field of a huge swath of talented potential contributors; it also leaves working general philosophers and their students without an appreciation of an important branch of their discipline.
Nonetheless, one way of understanding the history of philosophy of education is to regard the attitude of philosophers toward the justification and explanation of educational theory as having been expressed first in Plato’s classic supernaturalism, next in Augustine’s Christian supernaturalism, and then as undergoing a gradual alteration into the wholly non-Christian and naturalistic view represented by John Dewey.
Second, there is a corpus of work somewhat resembling the first, but where the arguments are tighter, and where the authors usually are individuals of some distinction whose insights are thought-provoking—possibly because they have a degree of familiarity with some branch of educational activity, having been teachers, school principals, religious leaders, politicians, journalists, and the like.