Philosophy, Ideology and Theory Paper

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Running head: Philosophy, Ideology, and Theory

Philosophy, Ideology, and Theory
July 13, 2008

The following paragraphs define philosophy, ideology, and theory as they relate to education. These three terms are also compared to determine how they correlate to each other and work together for teachers. The three terms are also contrasted to distinguish how they differ. The paper also establishes a teacher code of ethics that fit into a philosophy, ideology, and theory that helps strengthen teaching as a profession.

Philosophy, Ideology, and Theory

There are many things influences what a teacher does or does not do in their classroom. There are several factors that play a role in the educational process such as teachers’ personal beliefs, and the beliefs and values of the community and school administrators. These factors can be described as the teacher’s philosophy, ideology, or theory of education. The following paragraphs compare philosophy, ideology, and theory of education. The paragraphs also explore a code of ethics for teachers and how ethics can stabilize the teaching career as a profession.

Philosophy is the discipline concerned with questions of how one should live (ethics); what sorts of things exist and what are their essential natures (metaphysics); what counts as genuine knowledge (epistemology); and what are the correct principles of reasoning (logic) (Ornstein and Levine, 2008). No single definition of philosophy is uncontroversial. The field has historically expanded and changed depending upon what kinds of questions were interesting or relevant in a given time period. It is generally agreed that philosophy is a method, rather than a set of claims, propositions, or theories. Its investigations are based upon rational thinking, and striving to make no unexamined. Ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and logic are usually included. Other topics include politics, aesthetics, and religion. In addition, most academic subjects have a philosophy, for example the philosophy of science, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of history.

Ethics or moral philosophy, is concerned with questions of how people ought to act. Metaethics is the study of whether ethical value judgments can be objective at all. Ethics can also be conducted within a education context. According to Ornstein and Levine (2008), metaphysics is also know as "first philosophy" or sometimes just "wisdom", and says it is the subject that deals with first causes and the principles of things. The modern meaning of the term is any inquiry dealing with the ultimate nature of what exists. Epistemology is concerned with the nature and scope of knowledge, and whether knowledge is possible (Ornstein and Levine, 2008). Among its central concerns has been the challenge posed by skepticism: the idea that all our beliefs and thoughts may be somehow mistaken. Logic has two broad divisions: mathematical logic formal symbolic logic and what is now called philosophical logic, the logic of language (Ornstein and Levine, 2008).

An ideology is an organized collection of ideas (Gutek, 1997). According to Gutek (1997), ideology is define as a "science of ideas." An ideology can be thought of as a comprehensive vision, as a way of looking at things as in common sense or a set of ideas proposed by the dominant class of a society to all members of this society. The main purpose behind an ideology is to offer change in society through a normative thought process. Ideologies are systems of abstract thought applied to public matters and thus make this concept central to education. Every educational tendency entails an ideology whether or not it is clear as an explicit system of thought. In public discussions, certain ideas arise more commonly than others. Often teachers people with diverse backgrounds and interests may find themselves thinking alike in startling ways. Ideology is like teaching philosophy but...
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