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The role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria

It postulated that philosophical ideas have been responsible for shaping the development of the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria through the channels of education. It is the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria as the cornerstone for meaningful and sustainable growth development and achievement in art, science and technology. Arguing in the same direction, Umo 2005had affirmed that, worldwide, education has been recognized as a catalyst for achieving socio-economic, scientific and technological development.

For instance, Federal Government of Nigeria 2004 declared in its National Policy on Education that education is an instrument par excellence for achieving national development. In other words, any meaningful growth and development of any country must be preceded by a sound educational planning.

Since education constituted an indispensable aspect of social realities of a nation, it is of cardinal importance to any society. From the above postulations, one could now see that education is not just a mere discipline, but a philosophical force of its own with positive implications for human development. Obviously, any such education without a philosophy may not achieve its envisioned end for national development.

Arguably, any education that is devoid of some philosophy would tantamount to the anomaly of a lively tortoise moving around without its carapace. Thus it is the intention of this paper to prove how education energized by philosophy can form the basis for national development. He rather called them by a more modest and apropos title, namely: Philo love and Sophia wisdom or knowledge. The the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria of the two Greek words resulted in the term, Philosophia, meaning love of wisdom.

Philosophic wisdom is an intellectual engagement which enables a man, to a large extent assess his ideals as well as his life aspirations. It makes him understand the rationale for accepting certain ideals in life and why he ought to accept them in the first place. For Okoh 1998philosophy is a method of reflective and constructive thinking and reasoned inquiry.

On the part of Oroka 2010philosophy is a philosophic wisdom and activity concerning the existence of things around us.

Philosophy is therefore perceived as an attitude towards life, which makes it life become more intelligent, more meaningful and purposeful. It achieves this by clarifying, justifying and verifying issues through criticism of concepts and principles. Philosophy is hereby considered as that which distinguishes reason from evidence of things, and gives purposeful direction to life.

In the light of this, is there any relationship between philosophy and philosophy of education? If there is none why, but if there is, how? To state the point the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria clearly, Mango 2011 highlighted that philosophy of education played a central role by being interested in the views of the other foundations, as well as the various methods they used by employing the tools and techniques of philosophy. Buttressing the above, Reid 1972 averred that philosophy of education was the use of philosophical instruments, and the application of philosophical methods to educational questions.

It inquires how the results of such the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria thinking are related to education. This obviously presents philosophy of education as an intelligent thinking about education. Philosophy of education like philosophy itself performs many tasks. The tasks advanced by various philosophers of education as Shaaba 2010 noted, depended on their conception of the aims of education intended. For instance education for Plato 427 BC-347 BC aims primarily at political and social cohesion of the nation it serves.

Good education promotes the good conduct which in turn breeds peace and concord necessary for building a nation. Certainly, this is achievable only when people are educated according to their talents and natural potentials in the society. Such educative method will lead to the knowledge of different areas of sciences for the development of society. The findings of these different areas of sciences are co-ordinated by philosophy, while philosophy of education interprets such findings as they bear on education.

Thus, philosophy of education by using the tool of critical analysis, provides a foundation for the development of a man and his society. From the foregoing, what does development imply for a man who is the central subject matter in education, in philosophy and in philosophy of education?


Development for Man as a Human Person Philologically, development is multi-dimensional in its meaning. It has economic, social, political, cultural, human or personal dimensions. Babarinde and Farayola 2005 highlighted that, development involves increase in the quality and quantity of life of a people.

It includes gradual removal of poverty, unemployment, social inequalities, bad leadership, monopolization of opinion by the government, and of the negative practices which unfortunately have become the major characteristics of human society. This view presents development as being both qualitative and quantitative.

In the same wake of thought, Ogundowole 2004 described meaningful development as self-realization which implies the use of the resources of geophysical, imagination and unprecedented ingenuity to achieve overall societal objectives. In a way it might be inadequate to conceive development purely as an economic affair.

The target of the developmental process is the human person himself. He is to be equipped with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to enhance his creative potentials, for his participation in the improvement of his physical environment.

In other words man is expected to the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria an active participant in the process of development. Such expectation stems from the premise that man is central both in education and development, just like education is an important tool to development.

Since it can be established that philosophy and education are decisive allied factors in development, a review of the importance of philosophy of education to man in the practice of education might not be out of place but adequate, as this paper inquires about the relevance of philosophy of education in national development.

The Role of Philosophy of Education in National Development Philosophy of education broadens the mind by enabling it understand many different ways of viewing things in the order of human existence.

It provides man with an insight on how certain philosophers of various date and time approached the problems of life from generation to generation. Their methods of approach help man to understand different ways of perceiving truth and reality. This is relevant to national development because it would enable the country to solve the pervading tribal, ethnic and religious problems which are formidable obstacles to national development.

Philosophy of education as Donald 1994 posited frees one from the instinctive tendency to interpret everything in terms of self. By attempting to think of the universe as it is, rather than simply as how it the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria one, one enlarges oneself by leaving behind as much as possible the rationalization of his hopes and fears, as well as his preconceptions and prejudices.

On a stretch of imagination, when man enlarges himself he also enlarges the sphere of his actions and affections, which is necessary for national development.

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The continuous pursuit and seeking for knowledge and understanding have been the core practice of philosophy. Indeed, the essence of knowledge pursuit and understanding, must have informed Pythagoras C. Here Pythagoras alleged that there are three different kinds of people who go to Olympian Games. The lowest is made up of those who go there to buy and sell to make profit. Next are those who go there to the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria to gain honours.

Best of all, Pythagoras noted, are those who come as spectators, who reflect upon and analyze what is happening. They insist in constant pursuit of knowledge. Of these three, the spectators illustrate the activity of philosophers who are liberated from daily life and its infections in the course of continuous pursuit and seeking for knowledge.

Their interest in the games lies in the constant disposition to spurn fame and profit, and go for truth. Philosophically, wisdom consists in constant unwavering disposition to seek truth. Interpretatively a country that is geared towards continuous seeking for knowledge is the country that is on the path of development. Philosophy of Education as a Means of Good Life Wisdom or knowledge which is central in philosophy and philosophy of education is a necessary means of good life and national development.

Philosophy is the search to know and understand the nature of man, creation and the world, knowledge, value and good life. Philosophy becomes significant as Adaeze 2003 noted, at the point where educators recognize the need to think clearly about what they are doing, and to relate what they are doing in the large context of man and society.

Philosophy of education is a means of good life, when it gives directions as well as the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria for good human relationships in any social the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria, and calls for order through corrective suggestions and actions, aimed at bringing just living, co-habitation and prosperity for all.

Philosophy of education according to Oyedepo 2000 can awaken the talents and abilities of the people to formulate their longings as members of a society. It prescribes the ultimate centre of all things to realize in good life, for without good living man remains unhealthy and society suffers.

Philosophy of Education in the Formulation of Educational Policy The relevance of educational philosophy in the formulation of Educational policy is that it enables the policy to capture the socio-political ideology of the particular society the policy is designed for.

Educational philosophy does not only connect the societal ideology with the goals and objectives adoptable in education, it goes further to intermittently critique ideologies to ensure that such ideologies are worthwhile and fitting for society development. As an anchor, philosophy of education coordinates the various inputs from other discipline of education psychology, sociology, history and economics, inter alia into the policy as a complementary whole.

Philosophy of education harnesses the goals and objectives needed for successful policy formulation. The mismatch between setting of goals and achievement of set goals, have been the reason behind the recorded failures of some national education policies. This will in turn enable the people for whom the policies are designed for to arrive at some degree of national development. Thus, it is the task of educational philosophy to necessitate flexibility and adaptation of educational policies in conformity with constant changes that affect human society and its ideology.

Supportive of the above, Amaele 2005 asserted that a well formulated policy on education built on a strong philosophical footing, is indeed a sure guide to getting things right in the world of education, and consequently in the development of a nation.

Educational Philosophy in the Learner-Teacher Educational Practice In the activity of philosophizing, philosophy has a humbling effect on those who pursue it. It develops an open and questioning attitude in the learner and the nation in general. If a student understands philosophy of education critically, pondering its meaning for education and for himself, he can find it vital and thought provoking, thereby achieves deep intellectual developments.

Engagement in philosophy of education makes a teacher and nation to continue to develop himself the teacher and itself the nation intellectually. A teacher or a nation can never truly teach, unless such a teacher or nation continues to learn himself or itself. A lamp can never light another lamp unless it continues to burn its own flames. This means that a teacher or a nation should continue to develop himself or itself intellectually if such a teacher or nation should assist in the intellectual development of its students and nation in general.

This makes a country to move in accordance with the dynamic nature of the world, which would promote the spirit of virtuous character, and which strengthens tolerance that is lacking in the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria countries. When such challenge to development is surmounted, there will be a smooth development of the nation.

Philosophical Implications and Recommendations 4. Philosophical Implications Regarding the issues raised in this paper about philosophy of education as a tool for national development, we could draw out the conclusion and the following implications are drawn: No nation can effectively resist change from within, when its political state as a national entity is changing.

This implies that the ideology or national goals of any nation has to respond to the criticism, analysis and clarifications of philosophy of education to achieve its national development. By employing logical rigor the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria criticisms in diffusing knowledge claims from the pool of opinion, philosophy of education provides the nation with a potent tool to confront reality.

This implies that it is by the use of the analytic approach that the concepts and theories of development are given the necessary clarifications, to enable policy implementation sustain its needed logical accuracy and coherency. If any education practice is based on sound philosophy it the role of philosophy of education and nation building in nigeria promote good life or conduct, which in turn breeds peace and concord necessary for building a nation.

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This then implies that philosophy of education is an indispensable guide towards a crucial aspect of national development. Recommendations In view of what has been discussed based on the philosophical implications drawn from this paper, the following recommendations are proffered: A man is the product of his thoughts. It is what he thinks that he becomes.