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AIOU B.Ed Solved Assignment 2 Philosophy of Education (8609)

Allam Iqbal Open University

B.ED solved Assignment 

Philosophy of Education (8609)  Assignment 02



Q.1: Discuss the method designed by Socrates to give and acquire knowledge?                                                                                    (20)Marks



Born in Athens in 469 B.C. Socrates was the son of poor parents. His father was a sculptor and mothers a mid-wife. Nothing is known about the early education of Socrates. He grew as an adult very much unnoticed by the people around him and took up the occupation of his father. But soon, Socrates felt a divine vocation to examine himself by questioning other men.

Socrates recognized the unscientific nature of the methods of the sophists, his own method was essentially systematic and founded on general principles. According to Aristotle, "There are two things which we may fairly attribute to Socrates, his inductive discourses and his universal definitions. Inductive reasoning was his method of arriving at a definition. The result attained by his method could not be regarded as satisfying the requirements of scientific exactness, but this did not disturb Socrates, for he himself continually and emphatically disclaimed the possession of any knowledge, except perhaps the knowledge of his own limitations." The intoxicated Alcibiades says of him in the Symposium, 'He knows nothing' and is ignorant of all things—such is the appearance which he puts on.' Although not possessing knowledge himself, Socrates claimed to have the gift of discerning its presence in others, and of having the power to assist them to bring it to light.

The first task of Socrates was to arouse men from that false self-satisfaction which wasby him believed to be the cause of their misery, and to lead them to self-examination and self-criticism. He says "Herein is the evil of ignorance, that he who is neither good nor wise is nevertheless satisfied with himself: he has no desire for that of which he feels no want." Socratic Mission was to make men feel this want, to teach others what the utterance of the Delphic oracle had taught him—his own ignorance; to imbue them with a divine discontent; to make them feel, as Alcibiades puts it the serpent's sting', 'the pang of philosophy'. In his defence, Socrates neither disowned his mission nor his method. 'I am that gadfly', he told his judges, 'which God has attached to the state, and all day long and in all places am always fastening upon you, arousing and persuading and reproaching you.


The prejudice against the sophists was intensified by the fact that they degraded knowledge by making its aim direct utility. Education was with the Greeks training for leisure, not for a livelihood. It was asked the Protagoras, 'Why may you not learn of him in the same way that you learned the arts of grammarian or musician or trainer, not with the view of making any of them a profession, but only as a part of education and because a private gentleman ought to know them?


Ultimately, a complaint was lodged with the state that Socrates was corrupting the youth and propagating atheism. He was tried in the court and so many witnesses were produced. In this trial the words of Socrates concerning death, virtue and so many other important things have become historical. However, he was condemned to death. In jail, his friends tried to persuade him to escape. He, however, refused and pointed out that everyone must obey the laws of the state even at the cost of his death. He was given hemlock which he drank cheerfully and embraced death. In the whole history of humanity there had been no greater humanist, philosopher and

lover of wisdom than Socrates. This short, stocky, stout, blear-eyed and snubnosed man, with a large mouth and thick lips, careless in his dress, clumsy and uncouth, was perhaps the most beloved teacher of his disciples. This is amply clear by the writings of his main disciple Plato.




Q 2: Explain the components of hierarchy of values proposed by John Lock.?     

Ans: John Lock’ theory of knowledge:

John Locke was born on 29 August 1632 at Wrington in the county of Somerset in the south-west of England. His father was a lawyer and small landowner. Little is known about John Locke’s early education. However, at the age of 15 in 1647, he was sent to Westminster School in London. Locke’s studies at Westminster were centred upon the classical languages of Latin and

Greek, and he also began to study Hebrew. He was a hardworking boy and in 1650 was elected to a King’s scholarship. This gave him the right to free lodgings within the school, and also access to major scholarships at both Oxford and Cambridge. In 1652 Locke’s diligence was rewarded when he was elected to a £20 scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford.

Locke’s formal course at Oxford would have included classics, rhetoric, logic, morals and geometry, and he took his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1656. This was followed by further study for the Master of Arts degree, taken two years later, in June 1658. Other subjects of study with which he was concerned were mathematics, astronomy, history, Hebrew, Arabic, natural philosophy, botany, chemistry and medicine. In 1667, at the age of 35, Locke left the University of Oxford to take up a post in the household of the Earl of Shaftesbury at Exeter House in London. ll Locke’s published works, including those that had been issued anonymously, were bequeathed to the Bodleian Library, Oxford. His work in the field of education is an essay concerning human understanding (1690), two treatises of government (1690), and some thoughts concerning education (hereafter referred to as Thoughts).


A Theory of Knowledge:


Although the Thoughts was most immediately concerned with education, by far the most important of Locke’s writings, and one which had great significance for education, was the Essay concerning human understanding.

Locke’s rejection of innate ideas even extended to moral principles. Justice and faith were not universal, nor was the idea of God. Differences in the ideas of people stemmed not from differences in their abilities to perceive or release their innate ideas, but from differences in their experiences. How then was knowledge acquired? How might men come to universal agreement? ‘To this I answer, in one word, from experience’ (Essay, 2. 1. 2). But experience itself, gained via the senses, was not sufficient of itself for knowledge. That also required the active agency of the mind upon such experience.

Locke, however, was neither a dogmatist nor a builder of systems. He acknowledged the possible existence of certain eternal verities—God, morality, the laws of nature—whose essence might be confirmed, rather than discovered by experience and reason. He also admitted the existence of some innate powers or qualities, recognizing that some children seem to be from birth innately more adept than others in certain respects. Nevertheless, in spite of these qualifications, Locke inclined towards nurture rather than nature and may be categorized as the founder of empiricism, a tradition that has predominated in English philosophical and educational thought until this day.

The opening phrase of the Thoughts, ‘A sound mind in a sound body is a short, but full description of a happy state in this world’, a quotation from Juvenal, and indeed given in Latin in the letter to the Clarke family and in manuscripts prior to the first edition, launches the book into a discussion about the health of the child. Locke’s advice in this respect was generally sensible, if at times a trifle idiosyncratic.


Thus his Views on Plenty of open air, exercise and sleep; plain diet, no wine or strong drink, and very little or no physick’ (Thoughts, s. 30) would command general support today, though his advice on toughening the feet by wearing thin or leaky shoes so that gentlemen’s sons might acquire the ability, if necessary, to go barefoot as the poor do, might seem to be somewhat harsh. Locke’s advocacy of the benefits of cold water extended to teaching children to swim, both for the general promotion of their health and for the preservation of life.



Q.3 Elaborate the classification of different types of knowledge proposed by Al-Ghazali?                                                                         (20) Marks



Ans: knowledge proposed by Al-Ghazali:


Abu Hamid Al-Ghazzali is one of the most important scholars of Islamic thought. He was a philosopher, a legal scholar, a theologian and a mystical thinker. Imam Ghazali was an expert in the field of fiqh al-Syafii’ and Kalam al-Asy’ari. Coming at a time when there were many disputations between philosophers and theologians, between rationalists and traditionalists and the Mystical and the orthodox, he tried to bridge these divisions. His IhyaUlum al- Din, The Revival of Religious Sciences embarks on a massive endeavor to find a golden mean between all these diverging trends.


Imam Ghazali was a teacher at University of Nidzamiyah, Baghdad. Al- Ghazali's philosophy of education is based upon Islamic perspective on education, in which Al-Ghazali's predisposition towards understanding and integration of numerous intellectual schools is apparent. He got recognition as mystical, legal and philosophical educational thinker. For Al-Ghazali, the aim of education is to nurture human beings so that they abide by the teachings of religion and henceforward will be rewarded in the life hereafter.


Children learn from society and the surrounding environment. These elements play vital role for the development of their behaviors and personality. The children are also under the influence of their families, their customs, traditions, language and religious traditions. Therefore, the major responsibility for children's education rests on the parents. However, this responsibility is subsequently shared by the teachers. Al-Ghazali emphasized the significance of childhood in character building. A good brought up will result in a good character and help them to live a good life; while, a bad brought up will spoil the character of children and it will be difficult to bring them back to the straight path. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the significant characteristics of this period so that children can be dealt in a sound and effective manner.

Al-Ghazali emphasized to reward children. He explained that when children demonstrate good manners, they should be rewarded and praised so that they would become happy. Moreover, when children accidentally commit mistakes, parents should pretend as if they have not notice the mistake and do not ever embarrass them by telling other people about the mistakes done. However, if children repeat the same mistake for the second time, parents should talk to them discreetly and tell them that they should not do such things. At elementary stage, children must be trained to be obedient to their parents, teachers, and elders. They must also behave well towards their fellow students. They should be prohibited from boasting to their peers about their clothes, the economic status of their parents the food they eat, and accessories they have. Rather, they should be taught generosity, modesty, and civility. Attention must also be paid on their company as it affects their character. Therefore, they must advise to have intelligent and truthful friends.

Al-Ghazali has described following classifications of sciences according to: 1.Classification according to ‘nature’:

a.   theoretical (religious and theological) and

b.   practical (politics, home economics and ethics),



2.   Classification according to their ‘origin’:

a.    Revealed sciences, taken from the prophets (exegesis, unity of God, customs, rites, morality) and

b.   Rational sciences, produced by human thinking and reason (natural sciences, mathematics, theology, etc.) For Al-Ghazali the revealed and the rational sciences complement each other.


3.   Classification according to their purpose or aim

a.     Science of transaction (governing the behaviour and actions of human beings—the sciences of customs and rites) and

b.     science of unveiling (essence of things and pertaining to the apprehension of the reality).

teacher should be an example and a model. The teacher is not limited to the teaching of a particular subject matter; rather, it should incorporate all aspects of the personality and life of the student. The student, in turn, has a duty to consider the teacher as a father, to whom he owes obedience and respect. Al- Ghazali stresses that learning is only effective when it is put into practice, and is aimed at inculcating the right habits rather than simply memorizing information. Al Ghazali recommended that the teacher before moving to next subject matter, teacher must ensure that the students have mastered the first subject matter. Teacher should consider the interconnectedness of knowledge and the relations between its various branches. For religious education, Al Ghazali recommended an early introduction to the fundamentals of religion through memorization, inculcation, and repetition. In the subsequent stage, understanding, explanation, and conscious practice must be carried out.





Q.4: What is Perennialism? Describe the main features of Perennialises’ educational curriculum?                                                            


Ans: Perennialism:

Perennial means "everlasting," like a perennial flower that comes up year after year. The educational philosophy of perennialism is derived from both idealism and realism. From idealism comes the combination of ideas that truth is

universal and unchanging. It is independent of time, place, and the immediate physical reality that surrounds us. From realism comes an emphasis on rationality and the importance of education in training of intellect in the search for truth. The roots of perennialism lie in the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle, as well as that of St. Thomas Aquinas. Advocates of this educational philosophy are Robert Maynard Hutchins who developed a Great Books program in 1963 and Mortimer Adler, who further developed this curriculum based on 100 great books of western civilization.

According to Perennialists, when students are immersed in the study of those profound and enduring ideas, they will appreciate learning for its own sake and become true intellectuals. For Perennialists, the aim of education is to ensure that students acquire understandings about the great ideas of Western civilization. These ideas have the potential for solving problems in any era. The focus is to teach ideas that are everlasting, to seek enduring truths which are constant, not changing, as the natural and human worlds at their most essential level, do not change. Teaching these unchanging principles is critical. Perennialists believe that the focus of education should be the ideas that have lasted over centuries. They believe the ideas are as relevant and meaningful today as when they were written. Humans are rational beings, and their minds need to be developed. Thus, cultivation of the intellect is the highest priority in a worthwhile education.

Main features of Perennialises’ educational curriculum:

The focus in the curriculum is classical subjects, literary analysis and considers curriculum as constant. The demanding curriculum focuses on attaining cultural literacy, stressing students' growth in enduring disciplines. The loftiest accomplishments of humankind are emphasized– the great works of literature and art, the laws or principles of science. Perennialism maintains that the purpose of schools is to prepare children to accept their places in a society built upon a long and tested tradition. Society has a natural order, and schools should operate as testing grounds to determine where children will fit in this order. To do this, schools should offer all children an academic curriculum based on the classics, compendiums of human knowledge that have been tested over time. The purpose of such a curriculum is to train the intellect in a broad, general way. As a result, it will become evident who are the brightest and best, who will be fit to be the leaders in society. Perennialism contends that schools should not address either the fleeting, narrow interests of students or the immediate needs of society. These concerns are left to other social institutions.


Perennialists recommend that students learn from reading and analyzing the works by history's finest thinkers and writers. Perennialist classrooms are also centered on teachers in order to accomplish these goals. The teachers are not concerned about the students' interests or experiences. They use tried and true teaching methods and techniques that are believed to be most beneficial to disciplining students' minds. The perennialist curriculum is universal and is based on their view that all human beings possess the same essential nature. Perennialists think it is important that individuals think deeply, analytically, flexibly, and imaginatively. They emphasize that students should not be taught information that may soon be outdated or found to be incorrect. Perennialists disapprove of teachers requiring students to absorb massive amounts of disconnected information. They recommend that schools spend more time teaching about concepts and explaining to make these concepts meaningful for students.


.5:What is Montessori Method of teaching? What are the influences of Montessori Approach on the educational system of today?

Ans: Montessori Method of teaching:



Montessori is a special way for children and adults to be together. Every aspect of the experience is planned to help children become confident, capable, creative, caring and happy people who are a delight to be with. The Montessori philosophy of education influences all aspects of child's experience. All activities are carefully planned to make it easy for children to become that special person each child can be. Teachers are called directress to remind them to gently direct and guide the children in their activities rather than dictate the child's every move. This leads to mutual respect and affection helping the children develops confidence in their own ability. The variety of materials to explore, the teacher's quiet demonstration of their possibilities, and the time available for the child to watch older children, all work together to help the child develop the courage to try new things. Children are encouraged to thoroughly explore an activity. They quickly learn to examine a problem carefully, seeking the possibilities and discovering the solution. The child's confidence matures in their own ability. At an early age

the child discovers the scientist's delight in solving problems, the mathematician's delight in playing with patterns, the artist's delight in creation, the sociologist's and psychologist's delight in understanding people and the leaders delight in getting things done with people. Montessori sets the stage to allow groups of children to have these experiences without infringing on each other’s rights or needs.

Montessori Philosophy:

According to Dr. Maria Montessori, “A child's work is to create the person she/he will become.” Children are born with special mental powers which aid in the work of their own construction. But they cannot accomplish the task of self-construction without purposeful movement, exploration, and discovery of their environment—both the things and people within it. They must be given the freedom to use their inborn powers to develop physically, intellectually, and spiritually. A Montessori classroom provides this freedom within the limits of an environment which develops a sense of order and self discipline. Also basic to Montessori's philosophy is her discovery of Sensitive Periods in children's development. During these periods children seek certain stimuli with immense intensity, to the exclusion of all others. So it is during this time that a child can most easily master a particular learning skill. Dr. Montessori devised special materials to aid children in each Sensitive Period. It is the responsibility of the teacher to recognize these periods in individual children and put them in touch with the appropriate materials in the classroom environment.

Freedom in Education:

Freedom to Maria Montessori (1966) does not mean that we leave a child on his/her own to do whatever he/she wishes to do: rather it means that we need to remove all obstacles which might hinder the child’s “normal” development.

In a Montessori environment the adult does not dictate to the child what activity he/she should do but freedom means that the child is free to choose an activity within a prepared environment. It also means that the child is free to choose a place where to perform the work within that prepared environment. When children worked in the “Children’s House” they had a choice as to sit for example, on a chair by a small table or use carpeted floor for their work space. The adult in the Montessori environment does not schedule changes in activities for the child but gives freedom to the child to be able to work on the activity until its completion regardless of the time it takes, as well to repeat the activity as many times as the child finds it necessary. Freedom in a Montessori environment also means for a child to freely walk around and get a new activity when he/she so desires, and

“greatest” of all, it means freedom to observe another child and learn by observing.

Movement in Education:

Movement in education was important for Dr. Montessori. It was to be done indoors as well as outdoors. Indoors, Dr. Montessori taught children to walk gracefully without bumping into any objects. She taught them to walk and march. For one of the indoor activities Maria Montessori constructed out of paper a set of circular tracks. She had the children walk in a circle trying not to step outside of the tracks. Dr. Montessori believed that children should play outdoors so that they could be kept healthy and grow. She wrote that children need to be active so that their bones and muscles develop. For example, she recommended free games where children would play “with balls, hoops, bean bags and kites” (Montessori, 1966). She also recommended other educational gymnastics which included gardening and taking “care of plants and animals (watering and pruning the plants, carrying the grain to the chickens, etc).

Dr. Montessori believed that exercise was important not only for children but everyone. She stated that “very individual should take sufficient exercise to keep his muscles in a healthy state” (Montessori, 1966).The children in the Montessori schools also learned to look after themselves and thus be more independent of adults. For example, little children learned to undress and dress themselves. They hung their outdoor garments on hooks which were placed on the wall within their reach. The small washstands were also within the children’s reach so they could wash their hands, and comb their hair. Dr Montessori believed that hands are of special importance to human beings. Since a child “develops himself through his movements, through the work of his hands, he has need of objects with which he can work that provide motivation for his activity”.


Intellectual Education:


Dr. Montessori (1966) described teaching little children to write by first letting them touch the letters made of wood with their index finger of the right hand, then with two fingers (index and the middle finger, and on the third occasion having them touch the letters “with a wooden rod held like a pen in writing” (p.250). This muscular exercise was a preparation for writing but through it they also learned to recognize the letters of the alphabet and eventually would learn to read. In Geography for example, children learned to recognize the shape and name of each continent by placing shapes of continents set into wooden boards. The name of each continent was written on each shape as well as on the board under the shape.


Mathematics teaching was done by rods and beads. The shortest rod was 10 cm and the others were multiples of 10, such as 20 cm, 30 cm and so

on up to 100 cm which is one meter. Beads were counting numbers like 1, 2, 3 and so on. Children used the rods and beads to learn basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Geometry was an 199 important part of the little children’s learning. They learned for example not only to recognize geometric objects such as a rectangle and a cylinder, but also to differentiate among the sizes of a rectangle or a cylinder. One of the exercises was to organize cylinders according to width size when the height was the same. The cylinders would be

lined up and placed in their proper place in the holes of a long wooden board. Each cylinder would fit into one particular hole on the board. This was a self- correcting exercise so the children would rejoice when they got all the cylinders in their correct places. All the Montessori didactic tools were self-correcting making learning quite simple and straight forward.


Montessori has devised certain formal gymnastic exercises, which develop coordinated movements in the child. For these exercises she has also devised special apparatus. Muscular education and training is given through walking, holding objects and handwork, Rhythmic exercises are also provided. These exercises not only make children healthy but also give them training for practical life.


Exercises for Sense Training:


Montessori attached more importance to sensory training than learning, thinking or reasoning. She, therefore, devised apparatus for providing exercises in sense-training. The Didactic Apparatus sharpens the pupils’ senses and accelerates learning. The varied material includes blocks, cylinders, paper, cabinets; coins, tables, pencils and wools of different colors, boxes, balls, cubes, rods, and water of different temperatures. This material is meant to give perception of size, form, weight, touch, hearing and color




The sense of touch is developed by presenting water at different temperatures to the child. Sand-papers of graded roughness are also used for this purpose. Perception of size is developed through handling a series of wooden cylinders

of varying heights and diameters. Series of blocks and rods of graded diameters are also used for this purpose. Sense of hearing is developed through boxes, containing pebbles and other sound producing material. Sense of weight is cultivated through blocks and tables of wood of varying weights. Colour sense is trained through samples of wood of different colors, arranged and graded according to the depth of colour, as we have already stated under the ‘Principle of Self-education’.

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