chapter  1
The Decline of Philosophy in Educational Study and Why It Matters
WithRobin Barrow
Pages 10

This chapter will argue that the lack of a serious philosophical dimension to teacher education programmes leads to inadequate teachers, in broad terms because it leads to an inappropriately mechanistic view of the world and thus of the practice of teaching. More specifically, a grasp of philosophical concerns and questions is necessary for the teacher: (1) to recognize the logical differences between various other disciplines and thus not confuse them; (2) to understand the limits of sociological and psychological inquiries and their scientific “findings”; (3) to situate their own particular practice, for one cannot coherently plan or evaluate one’s teaching without reference to clearly articulated aims or conceptions of education; and (4) to enhance their ability to give due and rational consideration to the ethical dimension of teaching. In short, the inclusion of philosophy in teacher preparation is a necessary bulwark against scientism and the dangerous doctrine that teaching is a matter of generic best practices.