In this article, the main issue is education which will be put forth in a historical and phenomenal context. Education is a phenomenon that involves transfer of knowledge and practices through teaching and learning (Curren, 2005). Throughout life, an individual passes through different learning processes, and the timely limits of that process are uncertain, meaning that the process of education continues. If every teaching and learning process is considered as a type of education, it starts with the first interactions of the individual with the society (Siegel, 2012). Societies implement their values, knowledge and methods to the individuals that constitute them to be able to create subjects that are useful to the society. This is pertinent for today’s modern societies, nationalistic societies or their global reflection that constitutes the society of the world which is the global togetherness of human-beings. Whether the knowledge encapsulates the shared tradition and history of a group that lives in a part of the world or encapsulates all the people of the world is the difference between global knowledge and national knowledge (Curren, 2005). The values of modern society that are attempted to be implemented to the education system are the skills that are described as deep learning, which involves the skill sets regarding overcoming obstacles to achieve a goal, determining working mechanisms of systems, and collaboration. In this way, this article will elaborate on these implementations and question whether the implementations are sufficient to provide the individuals with the skills to be able to cope with the world (Dede, 2009).
The skills that are desired to be developed in the learners of this century are analytical reasoning which can be described as seeing patterns in qualitative and quantitative information, problem solving, which is achieving a goal by overcoming obstacles, a sense of collaboration (Dede, 2009). As these values could be beneficial to the learners in their professional and daily lives, they are sometimes regarded as undesired attributions if they are at a level that is considered as excessive. For example, an excessive skill of analytical reasoning could be regarded as a type of schizophrenia by psychological approaches, or an excessive development of collaboration could be regarded as intrusiveness. In a similar sense, an excessive development of skill of problem solving could be considered as seeing everything as an obstacle to overcome and a problem to solve which could be regarded as a form of greediness. In this way, while the skills of the individual are developed and they become the subjects of these values, it is also essential to develop a critical approach to these values and also make sense of their applications for both teachers and the learners.
In modern society, almost every human-being goes through a process of institutionalized education to become individuals that are capable of conforming, benefitting and being a part of the society. Thus, education systems subject the individuals to a process that is attempted to equip the learners with skill sets that enable them to cope with the world, the values that propose a good world through their application and shape the world through the perspective of these values (Ergas, 2018). Through the adoption of these values and implementation of these practices, education would fulfil its task in shaping the individuals that could create the better future. The paths of knowledge are acceptance, indifference, and rejection. The paths of practice are accordance, discordance and non-action (Jablonka, 2002). In this way, one path is knowing and acting, and the others are combinations of these three paths with each other (Jablonka, 2002). Whether the results of this process suit the aims of the process is ambiguous because there are three paths regarding the status of information as a knowledge and three different paths of practice of the information for individuals. When they are subjected to the teachings, and evaluation of competence is performed within the system of the theories and practices that are accepted by the education system which results in a self-reflective system that could easily be biased in its own capabilities of teaching and in the learning and practical qualifications of the learners (Wellington, 2015). If the educational system keeps a critical distance between the knowledge that it shares and the practice of testing the attitude of the learners towards the shared knowledge, the system could be able to elude from this bias.
Philosophers of antiquity regard education as the process of giving birth to the true knowledge (Curren, 2005). The approach of Socrates to education is known as the Socratic method which is the method that focuses on the emanation of the skill of logic in the learner with the aid of guiding questions (Siegel, 2012). The questions guide the learner in a way that the emancipated logic could help the learner reach the true knowledge of the world. Plato acknowledges this method and proposes that education should be standardized and generalized to all the people (Siegel, 2012). Aristotle has a similar approach to education with a difference of the emphasis on education of practical knowledge, where practical knowledge is the knowledge of physical reality (Curren, 2005). This emphasis of Aristotle is the approach that forms the positive sciences as the way to rationally observe and measure physical reality in a way that could concretize the causality relations of physicality. Thus, with this method of Aristotle, teaching of these relations are also emphasized as essential in the way to knowledge. Following these steps, in the middle ages, the values of education are changed in the effect of transfer of theological inferences.
The modern approaches towards education are shaped with the ideals of modernism in a sense that every citizen sharing the common part of the world should be subjected to the education of the shared values to develop a collective consciousness. Historically, institutionalized education evolved from the means teaching of ancient civilizations to the modern education with contemporary teaching methods. In terms of quantity, the social state of education has evolved to be compulsory so that the number of people being educated by the institutions of state or other institutions of education has significantly increased which will change into almost everyone in the current society being educated in the institutions from preschool education to graduate education (Chen, 2022). On the other hand, the qualitative state of education evolved to be more elaborative, detailed and particular with the developments in science, technology and languages that have evolved to be more descriptive of nature and self-reflective. In this way, the Aristotelian understanding of nature and education seems to be developed in the society. Through this, the depth of the inquiries found more ground in the society. The modern approaches towards education are shaped with the ideals of modernism in a sense that every citizen sharing the common part of the world should be subjected to the education of the shared values to develop a collective consciousness.
The modernist approach to education is criticized with the later approaches (Castro, 2015). Marx criticized the education of masses with the values of the ruling class as educating the people to become better slaves to the capital (Marx, 2019). In this view, the aim of provided education is making people well equipped with the technical knowledge to operate in the industrial field for better production of exchange value for the owners of the means of production who are owners of the capital and make the profit from the production while the masses only make their living and reproduce their labour-power to be able to operate the next day to keep producing for the owners of the capital (Castro, 2015). Another criticism for the modernist approach of education is the approach of Freire, who regards education that is permeated by the dominant powers in society that has its power through the exclusion of whom is concerned as the other, and the values that are taught in this way polarize the society to exclude and oppress more for ruling better (Freire, 2021). On the other hand, education is shaped with the considerations of developmental psychology and to be more inclusive (Castro, 2015). However, whether the condition of education as the dominating power rather than provider of the theoretical and practical skills is a still prevailing question (Castro, 2015).
To conclude, education is a phenomenon that involves the transmission of ideas and skills through instruction and acquisition. An individual goes through several learning processes throughout the course of their lifetime, and since these processes have undetermined time boundaries, education is a continuous process. The initial encounters a person has with society are regarded to be education if all teaching and learning processes are considered. Societies impart their beliefs, expertise, and practices to the people who make up their membership to enable them to produce things that are beneficial to the community. This is relevant to today's modern societies, nationalistic societies, or their global mirror, which together make up the world's society, or the interconnectedness of all people. In contemporary education global knowledge and national knowledge are taught. The national knowledge differs according to the geography. Although the deep learning skills that is attempted to be taught are important skills, they also should be considered with care in order to find out whether they are adequate skill sets to facilitate the lives of the learners, or they are more of theoretically approved means to keep in mind while in practice. In the second case the learners, the consideration of the needs of practical knowledge of the learners is essential. Therefore, if the aim of education is providing the learners with the skills that facilitate their lives, then the need for practical applications and critical psychological awareness is crucial in the world of today.
Castro, L. V. S. de. (2015). Critical Pedagogy and Marx, Vygotsky and Freire: Phenomenal Forms and Educational Action Research: 2016 (1st ed. 2016). Palgrave Macmillan.
Chen, J. (2022, May 6). The Evolution of Education: Past, Present and the Future | Cainz. Cainz | Education, Network, Experience. https://cainz.org/11210/
Curren, R. (2005). A Companion to the Philosophy of Education (1st ed.). Wiley-Blackwell.
Dede, C. (July, 2009). “Comparing Frameworks for “21st Century Skills” Harvard Graduate School of Education
Ergas, O. (2018). A contemplative turn in education: charting a curricular-pedagogical countermovement. Pedagogy, Culture &Amp; Society, 27(2), 251–270. https://doi.org/10.1080/14681366.2018.1465111
Freire, P. (2021). Education for Critical Consciousness. Bloomsbury Academic.
Freire, P., & Macedo, D. (2018). Pedagogy of the Oppressed: 50th Anniversary Edition (4th ed.). Bloomsbury Academic.
Jablonka, E. (2002). Information: Its Interpretation, Its Inheritance, and Its Sharing. Philosophy of Science, 69(4), 578-605. doi:10.1086/344621
Marx, K. (2019). Das Kapital (Capital): A Critique of Political Economy. Benediction Classics.
Siegel, H. (2012). The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Oxford University Press, USA.
Tau, R. (2022), "Possible in Human Development", The Palgrave Encyclopedia of the Possible, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 1–8, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-98390-5_252-1, ISBN 978-3-319-98390-5
Wellington, J. (2015). Educational Research: Contemporary Issues and Practical Approaches (2nd ed.). Bloomsbury Academic.
Cover Image. Unknown. (n. d.). "International Education and Critical Thinking". [Digital Art]. Retrieved From: https://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/international-education-social-justice/
Figure 1. Unknown. (n. d.). "Critical Thinking Skills". [Digital Art]. Retrieved From: https://www.brightconcept-consulting.com/en/blog/leadership/how-to-develop-the-7-skills-of-critical-thinking
Figure 2. Unknown. (n. d.). "Modern Education". [Digital Art]. Retrieved From: https://leverageedu.com/blog/modern-education/
Figure 3. Raphael. (1509-1510). "The School of Athens". [Fresco]. Retrieved From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Academy#/media/File:Raffael_058.jpg
Figure 4. Unknown. (n. d.). "Masses" [Photo]. Retrieved From: https://library.acropolis.org/the-masses-in-modern-philosophy/