When the term education” or educational” is used it can conjure archetypal images of some 1940’s classroom with a boring old lady in the front, droning on about Homer, while her uniformed students fall asleep on their wooden desks. At the same time it has tried to reveal problems with the ways in which these different accounts have been driven in part by various agendas to define a scope and boundary for the field, and often to privilege one or another approach to philosophy of education, even when they have endeavored to be comprehensive and fair to all views.
To cite one example that is prominent in the literature in North America at least, the US Supreme Court issued a ruling (Wisconsin v. Yoder) in which members of the Amish sect were allowed to withdraw their children from public schools after the eighth grade—for, it had been argued, any deeper education would endanger the existence of the group and its culture.
Books and extracts in this genre—which might be called cultured reflection on education”—are often used in teacher-training courses that march under the banner of educational foundations”, introduction to educational thought”, or introduction to philosophy of education”.
The central thesis is that education should be founded on truth and reality, and in particular how this relates to the interconnection of Mind (cultural knowledge and truth), Matter (biological knowledge and how our bodies are interconnected with other matter around us) and Space (our environment, society).
Although some normative premises are required in (1) as a basis for any line of reasoning leading to conclusions in (3) or (5) about what education should foster or how it should do this, the premises appearing in (2) may be of various sorts-empirical, scientific, historical, metaphysical, theological, or epistemological.