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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Philosophy of Education
Module Code ES556
School 78
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Francesca Lorenzi
Semester 2: Francesca Lorenzi
Autumn: Francesca Lorenzi
Module TeachersFrancesca Lorenzi
Irene White
Majella McSharry
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

The module aims to explore the role philosophical enquiry in educational discourse by introducing students to philosophical concepts and core themes in Philosophy of Education. Students are offered the opportunity to establish a link with their professional practice by engaging in the discussion of topics relevant to teaching and learning and addressing core educational questions such as “what does it mean to be educated?” or “what are the bases of the knowledge informing teaching?”. The module offers an overview of the epistemic and moral dimensions of teaching and learning and invites students to identify their core values and the bases of personal knowledge. Finally students are guided towards the development of a personal philosophy of education with the view of espousing such philosophy in their professional practice.

Learning Outcomes

1. Critically reflect on philosophical theories and appraise their impact on teaching and learning in contemporary Post Primary Education
2. Synthesise major philosophical concepts and theoretical perspectives and interpret their influence on education policy and practice in contemporary post primary education
3. Appraise the relevance of philosophy of education in the development of the Irish post primary education system
4. Investigate how a Philosophy of Education informs the practice of post primary teachers in the Irish education system
5. Apply a critical understanding of personal philosophical values in learning and recognise their manifestation in modern day, post primary education.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Independent Study70Integration of learning
Online activity37On-Line reflection on lecture content
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Introduction to Philosophy /Philosophical method
philosophical inquiry, argumentation dialectics, second-order questioning inductive/deductive approaches Hermeneutics Aims and Meaning of Education Making philosophy relevant to teachers: introduction to the moral and epistemic/gnoseological dimensions of teaching and learning

The epistemic and gnoseological dimension of teaching and learning
The quest for knowledge and truth over the centuries Epistemic approaches influencing education Classics: Metaphysics Plato vs Aristotle Heuristics: Socrates Christendom: Ontology: Augustine Scholasticism & paternalistic approaches The birth of scientific method Dualism, Mind and body problem and the birth of scientific method from Descartes onward A new dogmatism? Modern & contemporary approaches From Montaigne to Pragmatism : Enlighted and democratic approaches; critical thinking Post-moderninsm Relativism, hermeneutics and multiplicity of knowledge perspectives

Knowledge and the curriculum
Philosophical influences on curricular choices What knowledge? Whose knowledge? How is knowledge is knowledge communicated? Knowledge ownership? negotiation of meaning teaching as semiotic apprenticeship Knowledge and interpretation: implications for teachers Indocrination

The moral dimension of teaching
The moral dimension of education: philosophical developments and iinfluencing educational theory and practice Aristotle: phronesis practical wisdom and teaching Rousseau : developing natural talents Dewey: Democracy & participantion Freire: moral implications of the banking concept of education Gadamer, Habermas: Respect for otherness

Teaching as a moral activity
The teacher role: attitudes professionalism and competence Teachers'personal and professional values Teaching between practice and vocation Cultivating moral values Teaching as a relational activity Teaching and care Teaching and engagement Teaching and respect Teaching and care

Dialogue in education
From Socrates to contemporaries: is there a continuum? Dialogue as a teaching method and classroom interactional practice Engaging and promoting critical thinking through Socratic dialogue.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reflective journalStudents will write a personal statement outlining their philosophical values as a teacher50%Sem 2 End
Group assignmentStudents will work in a collaborative project focused on integrating values and education in schools.50%Sem 2 End
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 1
Indicative Reading List

  • Barrow R. and Woods R: 2007, An Introduction to Philosophy of Education, Routledge, London,
  • Campbell E.: 2007, The Ethical Teacher, McGrew-Hill International,
  • Curren, R (ed): 2008, Philosophy of Education. An Anthology, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford,
  • Carr D.: 1999, Professionalism and the Ethics of Teaching, Routledge,
  • Dewey J.: 1938, Education and Experience, Collier Books, New York,
  • Dunne J. & Hogan P.: 2004, Education and Practice: Upholding the Integrity of Teaching and Learning, Wiley Blackwell,
  • Freire, P.: 1996, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Penguin Books, London,
  • Hogan P: 1995, The Custody and courtship of Experience: Western Education in Philosophical Perspective, The Columba Press, Dublin,
  • Noddings N.: 1984, Caring. A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, University of California Press, Berkley,
  • Pring R: 2004, Philosophy of Education, Continuum, London,
  • Winch,C.& Gingell J.: 1999, Key Concepts in the Philosophy of Education, Routledge, London,
  • Lipman M.: 2003, Thinking in Education, Cambridge University Press Ed., Cambridge,
  • Okasha, S.: 2002, Philosophy of Science. A very short introduction, Oxford Supplementary Book Resources, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Popper, K. and Camiller P.: 2001, All Life is Problem Solving, Routledge, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
PMEProfessional Master of Education
SMPESingle Module Programme Education
Date of Last Revision20-AUG-10

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