The history of philosophy of education is an important source of concerns and issues—as is the history of education itself—for setting the intellectual agenda of contemporary philosophers of education. No one individual can have mastered work done by such a range of figures, representing as they do a number of quite different frameworks or approaches; and relatedly no one person stands as emblematic of the entire field of philosophy of education, and no one type of philosophical writing serves as the norm, either.
This entry has taken a different approach, first, by resisting the temptation to provide a single definition or characterization of the field; and, second, by stressing not schools of thought or methodological divisions as the categories for thinking about the field, but rather the underlying inclinations, or impulses, that animate philosophical inquiry.
Education being a social process, the school is simply that form of community life in which all those agencies are concentrated that will be most effective in bringing the child to share in the inherited resources of the race, and to use his own powers for social ends education, therefore, is a process of living and not a preparation for future living.
This programme is suited to anyone interested professionally or personally in questions about the moral and political justification of education, educational aims and values in liberal societies, the nature of knowledge and understanding, and the educational implications of different philosophical traditions.
Given the pervasively eclectic and interdisciplinary nature of the field of philosophy of education, such a spirit of tolerance and inclusiveness, while not needing to be unbounded entirely, would be a valuable corrective to the historical tendency to establish the methodsor the philosophical school that will separate proper philosophy of education from the imposters.