Philosophy of education is the analytical function carried out on educational concepts, policy, theory, programmes and practice. Broadly speaking, modern education lacks a unified purpose or goal to direct its curricular and pedagogical commitments. This lack of unity exists because education has many competing allegiances to different educational methodologies, which are driven by a variety of diverse philosophical commitments. Today, education is not so much about truth or morality as it is about tolerance and contributing to the nation’s economic growth.
Philosophy is a search for a general understanding of values and reality by chiefly speculative rather than observational means. All the aspects of human life are influenced and governed by the philosophical consideration. As a field of study philosophy is one of the oldest disciplines. It is considered as a mother of all the sciences. In fact it is at the root of all knowledge. Education has also drawn its material from different philosophical bases.
Education, like philosophy is also closely related to human life. Therefore, being an important life activity education is also greatly influenced by philosophy. In order to understand the concept of Philosophy of education it is necessary to first understand the meaning of the two terms; Philosophy and Education.
Examination, where it is possible to make a good guess
or if lucky, to train yourself on the solution of standard
tasks and to pass an exam anyway. The modern system
of school education in Russia is mainly focused on
students getting a successful result rather than on the
quality of education. Then, a similar approach is
implemented at higher educational institutions, where
students are only concerned with getting a degree but not
with acquiring knowledge.
Modern philosophy of Russian education is a
mechanical mixture of diverse views, theories and
principles. It is the mechanistic approach. Such
combinations are called eclecticism. This is the
philosophy of a modern identity and this approach is
often demonstrated by modern Russian management that
controls educational and development processes. There
are plenty of technologies but the methodology of
educational and development process is eclectic. What
results of students’ development are possible to argue
about using such approach or rather such method?
Development of an individual shall always have some
meaning, an inspiring idea, an idea proved by theory,
confirmed by practice, related to a dream, and supported
by a method. And moreover, by a proven method! It
should be the method of scientific knowledge. Where
and when did education lose its method, its dialectic
method and methodological culture?
Main milestones of the Russian higher school
reforms. It is fair to say that the first attempts of
reforming the system of the Soviet education date back
to the 70s-80s of the last century. Suffice it to recall
scientific and philosophical school of P.V. Kopnin that
was developed in Tomsk, Kiev, and Moscow. Works of
Kopnin [4, 5] and his students introduced new concepts
in addressing the issues of methodology of scientific
knowledge, discussed new approaches to education, as
well as its “problematical character and method”. At that
time the reform of higher education was defined as a
problem. Similar attempts were also made in Western
countries. We shall remember it in order to emphasize
the global nature of higher education reforms . We
even wrote in one of our books that “the reforms of
higher education became some kind of a sign of the end
of the 20th - beginning of the 21st century” .
Chronologically, the reforms were initiated by the
Decree No. 1 of the President B.N. Yeltsin On High
Priority Measures for the Development of Education in
the Russian Soviet Federated Socialistic Republic
(RSFSR)  with reference to exceptional importance of
education focused on the development of intellectual,
cultural and economic potential of Russia and
emphasizing the priority of its education. These were the
reasons and grounds of this document.
1993 is marked as another milestone. New
educational standards were issued. The standards
became obligatory in 1997. Higher educational
institutions began to adjust in order to meet the
requirements of these standards. What are the conceptual
elements of the reform? It is a two-tier system. A
specialist degree program was replaced by a bachelor’s
and a master’s degree. A new type of examination for
the candidate’s degree was introducedment.
When we try to recover the place and role of dialectic
in the philosophy of science and education we do not
intend to return to the Soviet model. It is about return to
Hegel, Marx, to the original essence of laws and
categories. The classical dialectic formulated three basic
laws: unity and struggle of opposites, transition of
quantitative changes to qualitative ones and vice versa,
as well as negation of the negation. So, when did the
Russian education lose its dialectic nature? Was it in the
beginning of the 90s during sharp transition from
planned economy to the market economy and while
changing a social system? No, it was much earlier.
As far back in the Soviet period the great ideas of
Hegel and Marx were given a primitive attribute. In
reality, their ideas failed to become a method of
creativity and were a mere camouflage to justify the
policy and ideology of Russian authorities. Higher
education in humanities was formally accepted in a spirit
of their method, but in fact the method was discredited.
Education in humanities was focused on ontological
justification of the USSR history as the only right and
single theory and practice of a social progress. Neither
strategy nor tactics were considered as consequences of
the theory of Hegel and Marx but, on the contrary, their
method in such interpretation became a derivative of
program ideals of the Soviet state.
Dialectic and metaphysics in knowledge and
education. The methodological approach has two
versions – a metaphysical and dialectical one. A
researcher or an organizer of the educational process has
to decide which of these two s/he takes as a basis.
Nevertheless, the result in both cases will not be
identical. Therefore, the choice between dialectic and
metaphysics is a real alternative. It is the dualism at
least. How to pick a better option? A quarter of a century
we imitated the Western model. We believed that the
market will solve everything. To be more exact, we did
not believe but were convinced to think this way. It was
done by pro-Western Russians, who these days are
known as pro-Westerners. Later, the history started to
call them this way.