Themes of Education Philosophy in Modern Society
Guiling Han
Faculty of Education Science, Shangqiu Normal University, Shangqiu, Henan, 476000, China
Keywords: Modern education philosophy, humanization, expansibility, practicability.
Abstract: For education in modern society, corresponding ideology is needed to guide proper and efficient educational
work. It is positive for educational work to enhance study of education philosophy in modern society. In
terms of current state of domestic education development, problems emerge mainly from objective reality
and psychology of teachers and students. Education philosophies and thoughts tend to have several
similarities, where humanization, expansibility and practicability of education are the most representative.
Education philosophy is a field where philosophy is
used to interpret and influence human educational
activities. Dating back to ancient times, some
philosophies gave significant enlightenment to
educational thoughts and ideas, such as Confucian
thought of equal education for various students, and
early thought system of materialism advocated by
legalists. In modern times, people with lofty ideals
paid more attention to education, with emancipation
of minds and eastward spread of western culture
(Wen Hengfu, Yang Li, 2012). This contributed to
the formation of advanced and enlightened
education mode which laid a necessary foundation
for today’s education prosperity. Due to inseparable
relationship between education philosophy and
educational activities, coordination of them helps
achieve the goals — to impart knowledge and
educate people and to rejuvenate China. On the
contrary, without appropriate philosophy, teaching
performance is likely to walk on a wrong path,
ultimately trapped in the vicious circle of talent
training and giving adverse guide and negative
impact to students. Therefore, schools and teachers
need some ideas of philosophies as guidelines to
ensure their work in a right direction. Guided by
education philosophies, teachers are able to grasp
main contradictions in educational work, consider
and balance all factors and prolong vitality of
teaching practice.
As a Chinese saying goes, strong youths lead to
strong country. Education is the hope of a country
and a nation, with next generation education
regarded as a main approach to change future social
life. Throughout history, education forms developed
from old-style private school and imperial
examination in ancient times to modern popular
prenatal education, preschool education, compulsory
education and higher education (Pan Xiwu, 2011).
Whatever their purposes are, people commonly hope
children to be well-educated for a better future.
Before studying in school, people, in most cases,
are innocent, ignorant and pure. Enjoying those
characters, they may fail to cope with kinds of
challenges from cultures, interpersonal
communication and complex society when they
grow up. Education in fact is a process for a person
to be physically and mentally matured, and form and
perfect outlook on life and values. Both educational
activities and philosophies displaying in activities
will profoundly and significantly influence the
innocent children.
Covering a long history of education, Chinese
extracted precious experience and lessons from
teaching practices in a long time, such as equal
education without classification of students and
striving with one’s own efforts under teachers'
Han G.
Themes of Education Philosophy in Modern Society.
DOI: 10.5220/0006444200830086
In ISME 2016 - Information Science and Management Engineering IV (ISME 2016), pages 83-86
ISBN: 978-989-758-208-0
2016 by SCITEPRESS Science and Technology Publications, Lda. All rights reserved
guidance. Chinese education now faces a huge
amount of educated people, various types of
education and spotty education levels, showing great
differences in terms of time and space (He Junhua,
2008). It is easy to find schools enjoying good
equipment, kinds of curriculums and strong teaching
staff, while there are schools with few students,
blocked traffic, one or two rural teachers, no fine
blackboard and desks and chairs. Due to the huge
objective differences, educational activities and
qualities also diverge greatly from other schools.
In addition, students are forced into fierce
competition by gradual saturation of education
capacity. Students are compelled to study
excessively due to issues of difficulties of going to
school or entering higher schools; besides, heavy
school work always squeezes out-of-class time. Such
cruel learning mode will accompany students from
kindergarten to senior high school and university for
over ten years. For domestic students, grueling study
has turned into a nightmare. In foreigners’ eyes,
Chinese students always study hard, though they are
not born like this. Compared with American children
aged around ten who receive liberal education and
light homework within one hour, Chinese students
have already been imbued concepts about score, test
and enrollment rate by schools and parents. As
results, student’s nature and creative thinking are
constricted, contributing to failure to dominate their
growth and study even with strong learning inertia.
This kind of education will expose its defects rather
than improvement in the long run, leading to
retrogression of scholastic ability and other students’
abilities without promoting domestic education.
Advanced educational concepts handed down for
years are still significant models for modern
education to learn from, such as incorporating things
of different diverse nature proposed by Cai Yuanpei
and emancipation of minds. However, facing
improper distribution of educational resources and
partial and rational educational concepts, school,
together with teachers and parents loses composure.
Proper and effective modern education cannot be
achieved without recognition of social reality and
stable promotion of education forwardly.
3.1 Humanization of Modern
Humanization practically represents an enlightened
attitude and inclination, upholding that respecting
every single person is essential prerequisite for
certain social change. The renaissance in early
Europe showed that recognition of people’s views or
thoughts and liberation of human nature can not only
ensure correct and scientific guiding thoughts for
activities but also accumulate strong spiritual
strength for a team or group to promote people’s
Education is a bright field where creative
teaching and guiding work are engaged. Long-term
psychological construct is required in teachers’
imparting knowledge and training students. As with
the concept of human innate goodness proposed by
Mencius in The Doctrine of the Mean, everyone has
a sense of sympathy, sense of shame and sense of
right and wrong, which are indicated in modern
education. Teachers are required to replace
reprimand and punishment in class with proper and
timely communication and psychological instruction
in line with the efforts of function transformation of
teachers and schools. For example, teachers are
supposed to walk down rostrum into students, make
friends with them for psychological intimacy,
communicate with them and educate them. The
change of attitude and identity not only helps with
teachers’ and schools’ smooth transformation, but
also psychologically relax students to carry out
learning plan freely. Meanwhile, a bilateral
communication mode between teachers and students
is formed to gain knowledge and abilities.
In addition, humanization of modern education is
also shown in specific teaching activities. Single and
old teaching concepts cannot cope with a large
number of students with various characters, and
students aged around ten or twenty who think even
more actively and boldly. Therefore, previous
thoughts need transforming to improve education
activities spirally and dynamically as soon as
possible. At present, firm adherence to familiar
pipelining teaching and duck-stuffing teaching
hardly stops the teaching dilemma but escalate
contradictions between students, teachers and
teaching, ultimately destroying teacher-student
cooperation. It is more significant to classify
students’ learning needs and treat students
differently. With foci both on group and individual
students, teachers are able to get a whole picture of
students’ learning to make use of scale advantages,
and instruct individual student with best efforts for
comprehensive development. Though this approach
is bound to demand more manpower, and material
and financial resources, it complies with its purpose
— all for children. With different characters,
students who have huge potential will infinitely
enlarge positive effect of the investment. Therefore,
talents in various fields will be discovered through
education, making educational activities charming.
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3.2 Expansibility of Modern Education
Facing chances and challenges brought by new
social elements, domestic educational work now still
needs refinement and improvement. Deng Xiaoping
has ever pointed out that education shall be oriented
to the needs of future, of the world, of the
modernization, which now are keys to keep constant
development of education.
Current educational work is different from that
of two or three decades ago, mainly attributing to
development of hardware devices. Teachers now
take advantages of multimedia and remote resources
in class while students replace their handwritten
notes with multimedia courseware and electronic
devices. In addition, Internet revolution provides
both convenience and temptation for teachers and
students through changing traditional class mode
with textbook and notes in educational field — the
peak of knowledge activities. Despite the easy
access to knowledge brought by internet, educators
are reminded to think about preservation of
education value. Meanwhile, educators are supposed
to turn students’ volatility in information era into
learning desire. Educational expansibility will be
retained, with the dynamic tracking of education
tendency and social talent demands and the timely
understanding of current affairs’ influence on talent
training. Therefore, demands adjustment is likely to
be conducted by catering to the policies.
Khan Academy mentioned in Salman Khan’s
book persistently carries out free online education
which relies on strong internet function of resource
transport and broad display platform. It wins good
comments and reputation from the world mainly by
its use of internet resources along with internet
revolution and realization of its value proceeding
from public benefit. Besides the development space
brought by internet, educators are supposed to pay
attention to hot issues, international interactions and
educational innovations, which are fresh to people
and have strong vitality from birth to death with
possible changes. Therefore, people need to dig
them up in depth within a very limited time to help
with teaching activities, for example, topics may be
about air accident of missing Malaysia Airlines
flight 370, food safety issues about KFC and
McDonald’s, FIFA World Cup in Brazil. With
topic’s involvement in teaching activities, teachers
are enabled to guide students to think about reasons
of the accidents and instruct their seeing and
hearing. Education constant development and
innovation need endless materials to provide new
ways and references, and various lessons from other
parts of society to succeed.
3.3 Practicability of Modern Education
Different from the fixed pattern formed by imperial
examination for selection of governors in ancient
times, modern education particularly has practical
significance. Specialized operation with high
standards demands of people sufficient basic
education and professional education. With the
concept of education serving economy and society
which is not customized for vocational education,
kinds of education are supposed to combine
purposes and aims with the demands of talent
training. By the combination, education emphasizes
more on some particular aspects according to social
needs of talent for social and economic construction,
in order to overthrow the “useless” bias of education
and create fortune for humankind. As domestic
education benefited from society should in turn
benefit the society, modern education philosophy
seems to follow this trend to bring powerful impetus
for domestic education which stepped into a plateau.
As teaching plan of practical education is based
on adequate practical surveys, teachers are
guaranteed to change teaching focus by reliable data
and practical experience. For example, in Chinese
teaching, students’ practical states may drive
enhancement of practical writing, reading
comprehension and proper curriculum adjustment.
In terms of examination, corresponding adjustment
may be conducted according to different practical
value of different chapters, in order to examine and
train students’ strain capacity. All these adjustments
require schools and teachers to break through the
traditional exam-oriented education to optimize
structure of teaching contents and ensure maximum
benefits for students. Additionally, to discriminate
and select good teaching plans also indicates
practicability of education, with some impractical
and idealistic innovations excluded from educational
practice due to grandstanding and flashy contents.
Though education is encouraged to stretch thinking
and apply innovative concepts, the essences of
education cannot be neglected. Education may
achieve false prosperity by some strange titles and
teaching performance as well as impractical methods
which hardly represent the direction of education
development, scarcely improve teaching quality but
puzzle and disgust students. In measurement and
evaluation of teaching innovation, people ought to
be cautious to strictly balance practicability and
feasibility. Teaching practice is essential to evaluate
even fantastic teaching concepts, contributing to the
prevention of distortions and the deterioration of
education and the formation of precise
understanding of education philosophy.
Themes of Education Philosophy in Modern Society
Themes of Education Philosophy in Modern Society
Under the background of a complex and volatile
society, constant development of domestic education
essentially requires precise understanding of
education philosophy. Studies and discussions
conducted by specialists and scholars, along with
educators’ practices concluded the more clear
themes of education: human concern for students,
dynamic understanding based on internet and social
affairs and continuous enhancement of
practicability, all of which provide right direction for
education development and space for educators’
self-improvement. Meanwhile, other advanced
education philosophies and corresponding ideologies
will be examined and improved in teaching
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Philosophy with Axiology: Comments on Wang
Qingkun’s Book of Educational Philosophy – A Study
of Philosophy with Axiology, Jounal of Higher
Correspondence Education (Philosophy and Social
Science), 2008 (6): 79-80.
Pan Xiwu, The Fall of Modern Educational Philosophy
and its Consequences, Journal of Schooling Studies,
2011 (4): 5-10.
Wen Hengfu, Yang Li, Significance of Constructive
Postmodern Educational Philosophy on Education
Reform: Summary of International Academic
Symposium on Constructive Postmodernism and China,
Philosophical Trends, 2012 (11): 111-112.
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