Page: 367-382 Author: Strouhal, M. Key words: ideas and ideals; pedagogy; education; theory; praxis
The aim of the paper is to discuss the importance of philosophical reflection in pedagogy and the dangers resulting from reducing science to empirical research subject to its specific criteria. Taking reflection on educational ideals as an example, the author shows the importance of philosophy to pedagogy, particularly the way in which it reveals the relationship between what is and what ought to be. This paper endeavours to show that pedagogy has two crucial roots – (1) scientific research establishing that which is (facts), and (2) philosophical inquiry opening up the question of the meaning and aim of education and educational theory. From a certain point of view, educational ideals are both factual and “practical“ in character: we give them a certain shape in notions and representions, they provide orientation for our educational experience, and they help us to build educational theory. Philosophical reflection reveals, however, that educational ideals cannot be reduced ro what can be empirically identified in individual ideas or social praxis.