Theory and Practice in Philosophy and Education: A Conceptual Clarification
The paper takes off from the debate of Paul Hirst and Wilfred Carr on the position of philosophy of education, whether it could rightly be seen as a practical discipline or it is exclusively theoretical. While taking precautions on a hasty submission, the paper first examined some conceptions on the nature of theory and arrived at a definition of theory as a body of knowledge that is foundational and fulfils the function of describing, explaining and stipulating certain issues or problems. This makes theory comparable to practice, which is overt demonstration of what is known to serve a desired purpose. Practical activity was viewed from deliberate and non-deliberate perspectives and the submission was made that in either way, the practical rests on theoretical foundations. The paper also examined methods of theorising and observed that all the traditional methods of knowledge acquisition hold for theorising. The paper concludes on the submission that philosophy of education in its content and method is theoretical but must form a link with practicalities to be relevant to life.
Keywords: Education, theory, practice, dichotomy
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