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Principle of the Philosophy of Pragmatism Method of Teaching: Analytical Essay

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Defining education

According to (Victor Ordonez November 2000)Education is a social responsibility for the transmission of knowledge, skills, and culture with a formally organized structure. The development of human talents and personal characters for better citizenship.


Philosophy is a well-coordinated and systemized attempt at evaluating life and the universe as a whole, concerning first principles that underlie all things as their causes and are implicit in all experience (Swimi Krishnananda)

(c) Education Philosophy

Is a branch of philosophy that addresses philosophic questions concerning nature, aim, and problems of Education. as a practical branch of philosophy, its practitioners look both inwards to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practices, as well as to developmental psychology, cognitive science more generally, sociology and other relevant disciplines.


Pragmatism definition

`It is a temper of mind, an attitude, it is also a theory of the nature of ideas and truth; and finally, it is a theory of reality. It’s an educational philosophy that says education should be about life and growth. That Is teachers should be teaching students things that are practical for life and encourage them to grow into better people. Pragmatism believes people should deal with problems more practically than theoretically (William James 18 October 2018). The term Pragmatism is derived from the Greek word” pragma” meaning activity or work done. Others believe it’s derived from “pragmatikos” meaning practicability or experimentation (William James). The pragmatists in a former school pay attention to idealism, emotionalism, rationalism, and optimism. It emphasizes creativity if people ( pdf ).

Aim of education according to pragmatism

Pragmatism aims to:

  1. Development of an adaptive and creative mind.
  2. Development of an ability to restructure experiences.
  3. According to John Dewey, the aim are merely suggestive, and most important thing is to restructure their experiences in a different situation. It indirectly means that education must inculcate a reflective attitude in learners.
  4. Education must also enable learners to adjust to real-life situations. Creating sensitivity to social issues.
  5. Realization of democratic values. A classroom should work on democratic principles so that, the child learns and value democratic values.
  6. To develop vocational skills, good habits, flexibility, morality, and art of leisure.

Nature of learning

Learning by doing

According to Dewey students/pupils need to learn by doing, and then reflect upon what they did. Through inquiry, inductive reasoning, and active learning, the student will become a capable and confident adult. He believes schools treated children as dump and passive learners, instead, he proposed students be thought to be problem solvers. They shouldn’t be given a’ set of notes’ but be thought to problem solve and develop their knowledge that is relevant to the way they live right now not only in the future state.

The principle of the philosophy of pragmatism method of teaching is practical utility. The child is the control centre. This method proposes that the learner should learn through personal experiences. Education is not so much teaching the child what he ought to know, as encouraging him to learn for himself through creative activity ( Brank 1910). By so doing the learner will develop creativity and be able to cooperate. Teachers are required to suggest and prompt only. The teacher suggests problems then leave the learners to solve the problem themselves. To facilitate this discovery the application of the inductive and heuristic methods of teaching is necessary. (Devi, article page 1554).

Role of a teacher

Dewey senses the sensitivity of education towards learners’ needs and their independent differences. Teachers should realize there is no one-for-all concept of teaching and learning. Teachers should plan according to aptitude, learners’ former experience, and their present experiences. The teacher should observe the interests, observe the direction they want to take then help them develop the method to solve the problem.

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‘The purpose of the teacher is to increase freedom of the children to enable them to explore their environments’ he believes in an interdisciplinary curriculum, or a curriculum that focuses on connecting multiple subjects, where students are allowed to freely move in and out the classroom, as they pursue their interest and construct their path for acquiring and applying knowledge. It is therefore the responsibility of a teacher to plan positive and construct environments for the students to create positive educative experiences for them.

Role of a learner

  • `The student’s ability of information literacy is not measured by the student’s intelligence but by their ability to manage how to learn efficiently.
  • Students should allow themselves to explore life so that they can have something to refer to when given class challenges.
  • They should be open-minded and be able to link the real situation to problem-solving.


Naturalism definition

Naturalism is a philosophy with a belief that nature alone represents the entire reality. it is concerned with the ‘natural self ‘it contends that the ultimate reality is a matter, and not mind and spirit. It does not believe in spiritualism. It denies the existence of a spiritual universe-the universe of ideas and values. It emphasizes that instincts are responsible for all our activities – biological, psychological or social. Values of life are created by human needs. Man creates them when he reacts to or interaction with his environment (Nanelyn Bontoyan).

Aim of education according to naturalism

  • `Self-expression

Naturalism lays stress on self-expression and self-preservation. Education should acquaint a person to earn living and train of health to preserve and maintain life.

  • `Redirections and sublimation of instincts

His instincts are the guiding force and basis for all human conduct. The aim of education should be the re-direction and sublimation of these instincts towards socially useful work .fulfilments of individual and social needs through nature.

  • `Struggle of existence

It should help children to adjust themselves, physically and mentally to their environment and the changing circumstances of life.

  • `Perfect development of individuality;

It aims at developing the child into a joyous rational, balanced useful, and mature person.

  • `In the opinion of Rousseau, education is aimed at the inner faculties, capacities, and power of the child. Not preparations for life, but participation in it (shahid, 2000).

Nature of learning

Learning should be done by doing, play way, method, observation, experimentation, govern self. According to Rousseau, ’students should not be given any verbal lesson rather they should be thought experiences alone. The teacher tries to give lots of hands-on training and practical experiences. Education should proceed from simple to complex concentrate to abstract.

Role of the teacher

The teacher is always behind the screen. He is a spectator or an observer. He plays his role behind the scene and does not interfere in students’ activities. The teacher acts as a facilitator, a setter of the stage, and as a supplier of material and opportunities. The teacher does not interfere with nature but rather cooperates with the ebb and flaws of nature. Rousseau opines that teachers should not be in a hurry to make a child learn, instead be patient, permissive and non-intrusive.

Role of the learner,

  • Role of learners is the central point of the education process. They should be able to find out which way of learning works best for them.
  • They are required to foster creative talents.
  • To establish the autonomous organization, rules, and regulations to govern social life.
  • To lead the teaching and learning process.


  1. Bantock. G.H. ( 1963) Education in an industrial society. London. Faber.
  2. Berding. J.W.A (1992). The curriculum theory of john Dewey; pragmatism in Education.
  3. Darling. J (1994). Child-centered education and its critics.
  4. Dewey. J (1916 ). Democracy and Education. Teddington; echo library.
  5. (1915) Schools for tomorrow. New York; Prometheus Books.
  6. Eyler. J.,& Giles Jr, D. E (1999) where the learning in service-learning? Jossey-bass Higher and Adult education series.
  7. Gartforth, F. W. (1966). John Dewey selected education.
  8. Woods, R.G & Barrow, R. (2006). An introduction to the philosophy of education, London: Methuen.
  9. D Papineau 2007.
  10. Danna Campbell December 2010
  11. Foot, Philippa (2003). Natural goodness, oxford university press
  12. Rorty, Richard (1979). Philosophy and mirror of nature, Princeton University Press

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