Education and philosophy are closely inter-related. Philosophy is the corner stone of the foundation of the education. Philosophy answers thousands of questions in the field of education.
Pragmatism is recognized as the native philosophy of America. Historically the Pragmatic approach can be traced to Protagoras, a sophist Philosopher of ancient Greece who said “Man is the measure of all things”.
John Dewey (1859-1952) becomes its leading and most influential exponent. He practised it in his laboratory school set up in Chicago in 1896.His purpose was to train pupils in co-operation and mutually useful living.
The term Pragmatism is sometimes called “Progressivism”. “Progress implies Change. Change further implies novelty”. So education cannot be convenience of as acquired once for all. Life has become as complex as is subject to rapid modifications that the child has to face new problems and education should enable the child to learn new techniques and problematic situations. Problem solving is at the core of all the education. The educative process becomes empirical, experimental and piecemeal: in a word Pragmatism.
Ø Pragmatists believe that man is primarily a biological and sociological organism. Past, for man is dead and go on. Tomorrow would come with its own problems and with their own problems.
Ø Human beings are essentially active. Here emphasis is on action and learning by doing. Action is real and ideas are tools.
Ø There are no absolute values of life. Values are flexible. They change with time and circumstances.
Ø Mind is dynamic process, which functions within a man. The human mind is the product of change. The growth of personality is the product of action and discovery. Development of personality is possible only in social context.
Ø Truth is that which works in practical situations. It is workable.
Ø Thought and knowledge emerges from search and enquiry.
Ø Pragmatism makes activity; the basis of all teaching prefers self activity in the context of co-operative activity.