Methodological Application Of Pedagogy Of Philosophy


The relevance of our research is determined by the need to explore vast amounts of philosophical literature that has pedagogical value for prospective teachers. In regards to this, the article presents the materials highlighting the essence and contents of philosophical pedagogy, its role in the education system of prospective teachers. The main method in our study was the theoretical method (comparative historical analysis, literature review, analysis of the basic concepts of the study, cause-and-effect analysis). The article develops the concept of ‘the pedagogy of philosophy’ as a new term used in pedagogical science. People often talk about the philosophy of pedagogy or pedagogical philosophy. If pedagogical philosophy is understood as a set of philosophical ideas and thoughts, aimed at the interpretation of the essence of a social individual, his/her nature, the meaning of life, ways of value orientation development, his/her education and upbringing, then pedagogy of philosophy is a system of education which contains the educational value inherent in philosophical thoughts, it is the basic methodology which contains theories of education. The material presented in the article will allow the readers to expand their competence in the field of pedagogical philosophy.

Keywords: Pedagogy of philosophyeducational philosophyfunctions of philosophythe functions of educational philosophyprofessional training


In this article we argue that the pedagogy of philosophy is underdeveloped. It is known that pedagogical doctrines appeared in the Ancient East (VI-V centuries BC) and in Ancient Greece (V-IV centuries BC) as parts of philosophical systems and since then pedagogical problems were addressed from the perspective of various philosophical concepts related to an individual. Since the XIX century, the problems of education were addressed from the perspective of socio-psychological and psycho-physiological studies. If philosophy itself originated from the amazement of people "about those difficult things that were facing them" (Aristotle, 2006a) then pedagogy has emerged as a testing ground for implementing philosophical concepts about the development of an individual. Thus we want to emphasize that philosophy has always been a methodological basis of pedagogy as a science and as an art, at the same time philosophy should not be reduced to only having pedagogical value.

In our article, the term ‘pedagogy’ is used to denote the presence of a huge educational potential in philosophy which has a significant impact on social life through the formation of new ideals, norms and cultural values.

At the end of the XX century there were many publications which discussed the interrelations between pedagogy and philosophy (Gershunsky, 2002; Krayevsky, 2003 and many others.). Authors mostly talked about the relationship of pedagogy with philosophy noting that philosophy was a prerequisite for the development of a pedagogical thought; they emphasized that philosophical knowledge formed the methodological basis for pedagogical research. It means that they mostly talked about philosophy of education. Thus, the authors continued the traditional interpretation of the relationship between philosophy and pedagogy as first developed by Kant.

We will not be mistaken if we say that Kant was the founder of the arguments about the pedagogy of philosophy. He approached the question of the relationship between philosophy and pedagogy, convinced that "the purpose of philosophy was to destroy illusions stemming from false interpretations" (Kant, 2006).

By the time Kant began to deal with pedagogical issues from the point of view of philosophy, there were plenty of theories about the art of education and upbringing. Kant believed that the ideal of education should be a shared, cosmopolitan task of all mankind, so in his educational theory he was drawing on transcendental logics – epistemological logics which primarily focuses on the a priori logical structures and methods of their application as the only possible means of theoretical knowledge. "It studies the process of the emergence of scientific knowledge in its general form, which examines the synthetic unity of concepts in judgments and in their systems, i.e. in the highest structural integrity of Sciences" (Kant, 2006). Kant built his pedagogical theory on the basis of his philosophy having four sections: discipline, culture, development of mind and sociability, development of moral concepts and feelings (the formation of morality). It is important to note that Kant also considered the interrelations of pedagogy-philosophy and philosophy-pedagogy and he was the first to emphasized the great importance of categories for cognition in general and pedagogical phenomena in particular. For example, the philosopher believed that "discipline", the formation of the ability to "self-compulsion" elevates a person above the level of animals. According to Kant, the animal becomes what it is, thanks to its instincts, it is like a "forced mind", and thus it is free from caring about its formation. A person, on the contrary, needs to shape his/her mind; he/she has no instinct, and he/she is forced to develop his/her behavior. But since a person is not able to do it right from the moment of birth, adults need to help children.

Kant was deeply convinced that mankind had "forced" itself, by its own efforts to develop those properties that constitute "human nature". Education should cultivate the development of a person. "Cultivation" includes education and the development of behavior; it is necessary for the formation of abilities that are important for carrying out activities aimed at achieving goals. Therefore, not the ability determines the goals of activities but the goals, dictated by the circumstances, determine the ability.

In his ‘Lectures on pedagogy’ Kant stressed that education should ensure the moral development of an individual. In his opinion, it is not enough for a person to be able to carry out activities aimed at achieving certain goals; a person must also develop the ability to choose freely moral goals that should eventually become the goals for all people without exception as they stem from the nature and the laws of the world. It follows from the above that Kant put human knowledge at the centre of education. He recognized that a person is the only being on earth, "which had intellect, therefore, the ability to set goals... In order to see nature's ultimate goal, we have to find out what nature is capable of doing so that to prepare ourselves..." (Kant, 1966).

Thus, Kant anticipated the idea of Ushinsky (Anthology of pedagogical thought, 1990) expressed in the Preface to the first volume of "Pedagogical anthropology": "if pedagogy wants to educate a person harmoniously, it must first study a person from various perspectives".

Among the Russian philosophers, who turned their attention to the philosophy of pedagogics, it is necessary to name Losev. Summing up the theory of education of Plato and Aristotle, he developed his own conceptual understanding of science and art of education. Agreeing with Aristotle Losev concluded: "beauty should play the most important role in education" (Losev, 1993, p. 760). The philosopher was sure that aesthetics is an important factor for the development of a person: "it is impossible to have non-aesthetic education the same way as it is impossible to make a statue without producing its artistic form. What does a statue without an artistic form mean? It means that there is no statue, nothing has been done to make a statue" (Losev, 1993).

At the end of 90s of the XX century the vector of research has shifted towards the connections between philosophy and education. Philosophy of education was recognised as an independent field of scientific knowledge. Its foundation was not only general philosophical teachings, addressed in education, but also objective laws of development of the educational sphere in all aspects of its functioning. In this regard, it is necessary to note the work of Gershunsky (2002) "Philosophy of education for the XXI century", which examined the systemic foundations of philosophy of education, involving strategic value-target and content-procedural priorities of multifaceted educational activities in the XXI century. Gershunsky (2002) opened possibilities of practical realization of philosophical and educational knowledge for the solution of actual and perspective pedagogical and socio-political problems of modern Russia.

So, both researchers talked about philosophy as the basis for the development of pedagogy as science and art, and then education. It was under these prevailing causal conditions that independent scientific disciplines were formed on the basis of the general laws and driving forces of the development of nature, human society, thinking and cognition: philosophy of education, philosophy of upbringing, philosophy of morality, philosophy of culture, philosophy of history, philosophy of science, philosophy of law, which, mutually complementing each other, made up a list of humanities and are used by pedagogy in the formation of the human personality. At the same time, the researchers lost sight of an amazing phenomenon – the pedagogy of philosophy itself.

Problem Statement

What is the influence of the functions of philosophy of pedagogy on the formation of future teachers’ professional world outlook?

Research Questions

The identification of the origins and development of the philosophy of pedagogy; the essence and nature, the content of the pedagogy of philosophy; the methodology for applying the pedagogy of philosophy in educational activities

Purpose of the Study

The aim of this study is to reveal the pedagogical potential of philosophy for the formation of professional world outlook of future teachers

Research Methods

In the course of our research we used the following groups of research methods: theoretical methods of pedagogical research (comparative historical analysis; analysis of the basic concepts of research; methods of causal analysis; methods of forecasting and modeling); empirical methods (methods of data collection, methods of analysis and evaluation, methods of studying the pedagogical process in modified, accurately taken into account conditions, methods of control and measurement, methods of data processing).

The experimental base of the research

The research was conducted at Kazan (Volga region) Federal University.

Research stages

The research was carried out in three stages: at the first stage we implemented theoretical analysis of existing works of philosophers, teachers, as well as studied scientific literature, which allowed us to build an abstract model revealing the essence of the studied processes – the formation of pedagogical philosophy and pedagogy of philosophy.

At the second stage we implemented the construction of our conceptual theory exploring the origin, development and functioning of pedagogical philosophy. The result of this stage was the monograph "Pedagogical philosophy" (Russkov & Russkov, 2010).

At the third stage, on the basis of the hypothetical-deductive method, we created a system of deductively related hypotheses, and then we created a textbook addressed to future bachelor students interested in independent creative development. The content and structure of the manual are aimed at the formation of future specialists of general cultural and professional competences on the basis of the disclosure of basic philosophical ideas that determined the emergence and functioning of the goals and objectives, the content of education and training in various historical eras.


In our study we define "pedagogical philosophy" as the combination of philosophical thoughts aimed at interpreting the essence of human beings, their nature, the meaning of their life, and ways of formation of value orientations, people’s upbringing and education. There is certain logical thinking and necessity: the versatile adjective "pedagogical" combines in itself everything that is connected to the purposeful process of education, upbringing and development of a person. In our case, "pedagogical" determines the orientation of philosophical thoughts towards pedagogical problems.

It is known that in pedagogy personal examples are important. If this idea is translated into the ratio of philosophy and pedagogy, then we can view philosophy as a unique example of contradictory thoughts coexisting peacefully. And if contradictory thoughts about education can lead quite disastrous consequences, for philosophy, the presence of conflicting opinions is to some extent the driving force. Philosophy evolves by overcoming contradictions.

Philosophy can produce concrete examples of creative imitation for the definitions of the nature, reality, consciousness, feelings, beliefs, research. The potential of imitation in the philosophical and pedagogical understanding lies also in the fact that "imitation products please everyone". This proves also that "imitation is natural for us" (Aristotle, 2008).

John Dewey expressed the axiomatic idea that philosophy was a general theory of education, as far as it spoke about the acquisition by the human of a reasonable and emotional attitude to nature and people around. This idea formed vectors for the development of various modern educational systems and methods stemming from the most important areas of philosophical thought in the late XX – early XXI century. They are, first of all: post-positivism, psychoanalysis, structuralism, pragmatism, neoclassicism, postmodernism, hermeneutics, scientism and technicism, neotomism, religious and mystical syncretism, etc.

The pedagogy of philosophy is manifested objectively in the implementation of the basic functions of philosophy. It is accepted to allocate the following functions of philosophy: worldview-related, cognitive (epistemological), methodological, logical, axiological, humanistic, heuristic, practical, cultural features, social, prognostic, educational-humanistic, critical, etc. The same functions are inherent to the pedagogy. In our opinion, there are three groups among these functions of philosophy. The first group consists of those that contribute to the formation of the theoretical basis of human outlook. The second group consists of functions that explain the nature and essence of a person, their place in the world, the third group explains values. Undoubtedly, these functions from the point of view of philosophy have been thoroughly developed, however from the point of view of the pedagogics of philosophy these functions have been discussed insufficiently. Let's look briefly at some of them.

Methodological function (in Greek methodos + logos means the doctrine of the ways of organizing and constructing theoretical and practical activities of people) – the pedagogy of philosophy in this case is manifested in the instructive demonstration of a set of methods aimed at the opening of the exercises about the structures, logical organization, methods and means of activity of philosophers and teachers in the formation of personality. This function also defines the general principles, methods and means of studying pedagogical problems and human activity.

In addition, the methodological function is aimed at educating future specialists facilitating the development of their ability to approach philosophically the process of studying the content of pedagogical philosophy, the logic of its construction and to comply with the principles of scientific research.

Methodological function allows the relationships "Pedagogy-philosophy" and "Philosophy-pedagogy" clearly demonstrate that the system of research methods used in the field of education is as diverse as science itself.

Ideological function (in English worldview means systematised views of the world and people's place in this world) participating in the formation of knowledge about the universal and the real, from the point of view of pedagogy, expands shared ideas about the world, knowledge about the person, understanding the meaning of life in future teachers. This knowledge represents heterogeneous "blocks" of knowledge. They, heterogeneous blocks of knowledge, beliefs, thoughts, feelings, moods, aspirations, hopes, being united in the worldview, appear as characteristics of a more or less holistic understanding of the future teachers of the world and of themselves. Thus, the pedagogy of philosophy is involved in the formation of future teachers helping them develop professional views, assessments, principles that determine their vision and understanding of the world and the place of people in it; it helps future professionals to determine their life positions, programs of professional behavior and ways of realizing oneself creatively.

Gnoseological function (in Greek gnosis means knowledge, knowledge + logos) – pedagogy of philosophy within this function is found in the formation of students' knowledge of methods available for teaching students. Thus, this function forms students' knowledge of the factors of human development. Since ancient times it has been said that people are brought up not only by their close social environment, but also by the whole surrounding reality. It means that it is only through being submerged in culture that one can become a specialist with a sense of social responsibility who is appreciative of spiritual and material values.

Axiological function of philosophy (in Greek axios means valuable + logos) relates to the types of teachers and the systems of their values related to their development (types of values: spiritual, material, subjective, objective; hierarchy of values: universal, corporate, group, personal).

Axiological function also helps student teachers to understand how the system of values is formed and transmitted, how it changes over time under the influence of different factors. Some values are no longer relevant and so they have been abandoned, and others have been preserved for centuries because of their universal significance. For example, philosophers have always recognized human life and health as the main human values.

Anthropological function (in Greek anthropos means man) relates to the definition of a person as a biologically and socially unique, active and thinking creature. This function is characterized by a high degree of learning, thinking, language and speech. People are socially controlled beings with a certain level of worldview. People create the world around them through their work.

It is important to underline that "the human essence of nature is accessible only for social people, because only in society, nature connects one person with another; only within society nature can be viewed as the basis for society’s existence" (Russkov & Russkov, 2012).

The anthropological function has been informed also by the fact that it helps teachers understand the existence of different meanings of human life. Gradually people begin to understand different meanings: hedonism sees the meaning in living for the sake of enjoyment; eudemonism – the pursuit of happiness as a true purpose of people; asceticism – abandoning the world and all forms of enjoyment for the sake of redeeming sins through suffering; altruism – living for the sake of ideals and values; utilitarianism – living to benefit; pragmatism – achieving one’s life goals by any means; humanism – living for the sake of developing and perusing moral values.

Humanistic function (in Latin humanitas means humanity) helps student teachers see the limitlessness of human potential and their ability to achieve perfection. It also introduces future teachers to the "roots" of pedagogical ideas; it helps understand the relations between people, between students and teachers. It introduces human rights. This function also suggests that the satisfaction of human needs and interests should be the ultimate goal of society.

From a historical perspective, the humanistic function relates to the history of humanistic ideas about "the harmonious development of human values of senses and mind, the highest development of human culture and morality and its corresponding behavior towards other people and to all creation" (Aristotle, 2006b). The humanistic function also helps:

  • future teachers understand the methods of humanistic education through discussions, role-playing games, analysis and resolution of contradictions and conflicts, etc.;

  • parents understand the methods of effective communication with children (active listening, unconditional love for the child, positive attention to him, "eye contact", physical contact, etc).

  • define the essence of the principle of humanization in education and direct teachers to fulfil professional requirements: respecting students and their rights and freedom; presenting students with reasonable requirements; respecting the views of students even when they refuse to comply with the requirements; non-violent behaviour (refusing to use corporal punishment); etc.

Communicative function establishes the link between the past and the present. Student becomes the subject of communication while the philosophical and pedagogical thoughts become objects. It is well known that the motive information is manifested in the form of instruction, advice, request, and order. Such are the qualities of a philosophy, because it stimulates the educational process. Stimulation is usually divided into activation (inducement to action in a given direction), interdiction (prohibition of undesirable activities) and destabilization (mismatch or violation of some autonomous forms of behavior or activity).

Acousmatic function (in Greek akousma means symbol; ta akousmata means "symbolic training") introduces future professionals to symbol-based systems used for developing moral qualities. Acousma united different facets of reality into a unified whole. Acousmatic function in the system of training of future teachers directs the consciousness of students to discover something implicit, not lying on the surface, unpredictable. Thereby this function relates to curiosity, logical thinking, searching for the hidden and ‘reading between the lines’.

Hermeneutical function (in Greek hermeneuo means to explain, to interpret) relates to the ways and methods of interpretation of philosophical texts devoted to the care and education of young generations. Hermeneutical function is aimed at generating new meanings in the dialogue of traditions through which new meanings are born.

Hedonistic function (in Greek hedone means pleasure) relates to the fact that philosophy is supposed to turn the learning process into a pleasant, desirable occupation. The process of cognition and discovery of something new always brings satisfaction (through the awareness of gaining new knowledge and the prospects for professional development). In turn, the process of discovery becomes for a person a pleasure. The student's desire to enjoy learning is of great importance for pedagogy. Pleasure (hedonism) is one of the driving forces (motivating factors behind the actions) of the person.

Debatable questions

Philosophical and pedagogical literature review leads us to see the absence of special studies devoted to "the pedagogy of philosophy", which has a significant impact on teacher education. Meanwhile, professional ideological awareness can only be formed in the process of theoretical and practical training of future teachers. We believe that professional philosophical awareness of future teachers is primarily built on the philosophical understanding of human nature, values, the meaning of life, the process of identity formation. In this regard, future teachers should be well versed in:

  • philosophical concepts related to human development;

  • the origins of key educational ideas related to the various stages of human history;

  • the history of the development of basic philosophical ideas that formed the basis for the construction of educational systems and trends.

This is due to the fact that the system of education as a valuable experience of society is always based on a specific theory or concept, on the basis of which this system is determined, aimed at the formation of the essence of the human personality. That is why it is so important that prospective teachers understand the origins ("root causes"), the ideals of the teaching profession so as to be able to begin their teaching career with clearly formed professional beliefs and motivation.


In this article we have discussed the pedagogy of philosophy through the functions of philosophy and thereby demonstrated that philosophy is not only the foundation of pedagogy, within philosophical works (both within the philosophy of education and within the traditional branches of philosophy: ontology, epistemology, axiology, logic, ethics, aesthetics, theology) scholars have attempted to address the issues of upbringing and education.


The work is performed according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University


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05 September 2018

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Cite this article as:

Grigoryeva, S. G., & Russkov, S. P. (2018). Methodological Application Of Pedagogy Of Philosophy. In R. Valeeva (Ed.), Teacher Education - IFTE 2018, vol 45. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 56-64). Future Academy.