Philosophy of education is a branch of applied philosophy that deals with the nature and aims of education.

In this blog post and two other blog posts that will follow, we shall discuss about some philosophers; their theory and practice that have contributed to the growth of education.

Our focus in this post is on Plato. It is stated that Plato was born around 428 BC in Athens, the ancient Greece. His parents were wealthy. At first, he wanted to be a politician but was later influenced by Socrates teachings and he became Socrates’s disciple. During his teaching, he taught the great Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Unlike his teacher, Socrates (who did not write about his teachings), Plato wrote some books, which include The Republic, Apology of Socrates, Ion, The Symposium etc.

Here are some of his major contributions to education:

• Plato sees education as a means of attaining individual and collective justice.

• Plato groups knowledge development into three stages – Knowledge of one’s own job, self-knowledge and knowledge of the Idea of the Good.

• Plato believes that education should be state controlled. Every individual in the state must have access to free and quality education.

• The main function of education, according to Plato, is to bring out the latent talents in every individual. He mentions in The Republic, that only through education can an individual realize his true function in the society.

• Plato emphasises on a hale and healthy environment for children. He insists that the atmosphere must plant the ideas of truth and goodness in children.

• Plato established the Academy, which is believed to be the first university in Europe. The Academy was a school outside the city walls of Athens. This was where Aristotle studied.

• Plato’s ideas are about creating an ideal society. The ideal in Plato’s sense is a society where there is social progress and stable government.

Do you agree with some or all of Plato’s ideas?
Do you believe that free and quality education will help to attain individual and social justice?
Share your opinion in the comment box. We’ll love to read from you.

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