Positivism and Nigeria's philosophy of education

  • Chinenye Leo Ochulor Department of Philosophy, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria


This paper examined from a positivist perspective, the adequacy or otherwise of Nigeria's Philosophy of Education. We identified the educational strategies of positivism and tried to discover whether they form part of Nigeria's Philosophy of Education. We discovered that positivism adopts the empiricist – inductivist model of knowledge acquisition. We found out that the ability of the inductivist approach to draw out generalizations from particular instances appears to be an advantage. But its inability to prove the logical validity of these generalizations mars the entire effort. We argued that given the faults inherent in the empiricist methodology, the impossibility of reading the world through observation becomes obvious. Comte opined that education should lay emphasis on the possibility of using science to help solve social problems. We argued against the positivist tendency of evaluating education only at the “use” level. We condemned, in strong terms, the Nigerian case where education is given one single purpose of being an instrument for achieving the nation's objectives. We discovered that the ratio of Science to Liberal Arts students in our universities was fixed by government at 60:40. We detected that Nigeria's 6–3-3–4 educational system is a technologically oriented system. We argued for parity of esteem between Science and Liberal Arts, as a condition for genuine development in Nigeria. Our paper maintained that it is wrong just to focus on developing the worker in the man through science and technology while undermining the humanities which develop the man in the worker.

Keywords: man, worker, humanities, science, technology

Global Journal of Social Sciences Vol. 4(1&2) 2005: 57-60

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eISSN: 1596-6216