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Philosophy and Sociology in Education: A Brief Reflection on Its Nature, Scope, and Functions

Philosophy in education mainly concerns on the pedagogical aims of education and how processes in the practices of teaching affect education while sociology in education concerns the interaction among the social elements, institutions and individual. These are separate disciplines but have a commonality in terms of education, that is to analyze the processes to improve and bring change in the present system of education. We can also say that philosophy helps individual to control his or her values while sociology helps control the society, maintaining peace and order.

Included in the scope of philosophy in education are the interpretation of human nature and educational values while sociology may include culture, morals, and social organization. Of these scopes of philosophy and sociology, we can see that philosophy in education is very important to build individuals in developing his or her values guided by his or her educational philosophy. In education, teachers must be able to help learners develop their values to make them better citizens of society. Teachers must be able to understand the nature of the learners to understand them and provide them the necessary pedagogical strategy for them to learn. On the other hand, sociology in education must be taught properly to learners because it deals on culture, morals and how people should interact. This body of knowledge will orient an individual what is in the society, the values, the norms, the culture. Understanding these things is a great way to make their socialization behavior acceptable and is with the social standards.

Along the functions of philosophy and sociology, we can also see the difference of these two. Philosophy is concerned with harmonizing old and new traditions in education, specifically while sociology is concerned on assimilation and transmission of traditions in society, in general. Sociology is more general on its function while philosophy is more specific. However, both are directed to better and improved future of society and generations.

Some Pointers on Sociology and Philosophy in Education


  1. Philosophy in education helps evaluate the aims and goals of education. Having philosophy in life and in profession is necessary to keep a person on track to his or her goals. It serves as a guiding compass and eye to maintain balance and upright beliefs or values.
  2. Since philosophy in education is about character building, human development, and preparation of a child into adult life, teachers must be able to inculcate among learners the importance of having a philosophy in life. Teachers must recognize that learners are person who can transformed into better version of themselves when guided properly. This can be done when teachers know the most practical pedagogical strategies, he or she can use to help learners grow and develop.
  3. Philosophy in education helps improving the current system of education through continues assessment or evaluation of aims, goals, and practices in the field. Both old and present practices must be synthesized to come up with better and innovative practices or ways of teaching.
  4. Sociology in education helps build harmonious social patterns by not just looking at the aims and goals of education but by looking beyond it and seeing the roles of education in many aspects of the society. This implies that teachers teaching a particular subject area must only focus on the content or knowledge learners will gain but rather underscore its role and application to the society and other fields.
  5. Sociology concerns various areas such culture, politics, and religion. With this, teachers must teach learners how to socialize with others to let them see the diversity of beliefs and culture of other learners. Letting the learners see different views and perspectives about these aspects of society will them become more functional member of the society and be critical in their respective roles.
  6. Since sociology is about socialization and creating new social patterns, teachers should use their knowledge and understanding of this discipline in guiding learners develop the right values in life. This can be done by applying teaching-learning process which allows the development of good moral and right conduct among learners.
  7. Philosophy and sociology in education provides significant change in the education system, hence must be studied, and understood by teachers.

Additional Readings


Pattanaik, S. & harichandan, S. (n.d.). Sociological Foundation of Education. https://ddceutkal.ac.in/Syllabus/MA_Education/Paper-2.pdf

Roy, S. (n.d.). Sociology of Education: Meaning, Scope, Importance, Perspectives. Sociology Group. https://www.sociologygroup.com/sociology-of-education/

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Satapathy, S. (n.d.). Sociology in Education. MA Sociology. https://ddceutkal.ac.in/Syllabus/MA_SOCIOLOGY/Paper-16.pdf

Siegel, H., Philipps, D.C., & Callan, E. (2018). Philosophy of Education. Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/education-philosophy/

The Scots College (2017). Educational philosophy: what is it all about? https://www.tsc.nsw.edu.au/educational-philosophy-what-is-it-all-about/

Top Hat (2021). Philosophy of Education. https://tophat.com/glossary/p/philosophy-of-education/

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