What is Realism in Educational Philosophy?

What is Realism in Educational Philosophy?

June 29, 2021 Off By Felso

In the philosophy of education, realism has developed as an opposite view to the idealism movement. Realism is based on the argument that the external world exists independently of our perceptions.

According to this philosophy, real knowledge is knowledge that can be proven by observation and experimentation. The main purpose of education should be to develop mental power.

Education is the process of transferring cultural accumulation to new generations and preparing them to adapt to society. In the educational process, the teacher is in a key position and his task is to prepare an opportunity and an environment for the truth to emerge. The scope of education should be linked to real-world knowledge, not students’ wishes.

The education carried out should convey information to the student and encourage research. Educational activities are organized using methods such as lecture, discussion, experiment, and observation.

Realism in the philosophy of education (Image: Pexels)

Realism is based on conformity with reality.

According to the realist education philosophy, the main purpose of education is to reach one’s own potential. According to realism, education should help them realize their potential and make them happy.

According to the realist movement, the function of schools is to transform life through knowledge. According to the realist educational philosophy, schools should be intellectual environments.

According to realist thinkers, schools are places where socialization is provided, professions are gained and other social goals related to education are realized.

According to the realist movement, courses such as logic, theory of science and philosophy that introduce various sciences should be at the core of the curriculum. In addition to these, social sciences and science courses and general culture courses should also be included in the realist curriculum.

According to the realist movement, human is born as a blank slate. Since students are not at the level to produce knowledge, they have to do what the teacher says.

Realist education philosophy is similar to idealist education philosophy in some ways. Realist philosophy of education also argues that there are some immutable truths and that these should be transferred to learners. On the other hand, both the idealist philosophy of education and the realist philosophy of education put the teacher in the center. It aims to adapt the person to his natural and cultural environment.

In this context, education realizes the learning of the external world in objective ways. The basis of education is not the teaching of an ideal world to students, but the teaching of the real world that exists.

Since the individual will comprehend the universe and its functioning through the mind and the five senses in education, positive sciences such as mathematics, logic, physics, chemistry and biology and social sciences such as sociology, anthropology and history should be emphasized.

Realist education approach (Image: Pexels)
According to this view, everything that exists is real.
It acts on the assumption that the external world is independent of human perceptions.
Belief in the existence of matter is fundamental. (Matter is the main thing) They explain the universe with matter and concrete things.
People know the world with their reason and reasoning powers. Everything that exists comes from nature and is governed by nature’s laws.
Human behavior is rational to the extent that it conforms to these laws of nature.
The correctness of an idea or belief depends on the existence of the object or phenomenon it expresses.
The source of knowledge is the living environment. It is based on the idea of ​​objectivity.
It is essential to protect social values ​​and transfer them to new generations. With this transfer, the ability of young people to use their minds is developed.
As in idealism, program designs that center the subject area are adopted.
Being dependent on the mind makes it objective.
It is an opinion formed in opposition to the idealist view.
Knowledge is not innate, it is acquired later.
The scientific method is the method it uses experiment and observation.
The educational philosophy that he directs is perennialism and essentialism.

Compiled by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology, Grade 4 “Sociology of Education” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); prof. Dr. Hüseyin Akyüz – A Research on Basic Concepts and Fields of Sociology of Education; Atatürk University, Department of Sociology, Year 1 “Introduction to Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Other Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)