We live in a country built on knowledge and high standards of education. Ben Hecht (1893-1964), an American author and dramatist, described the significance of context well: “Trying to determine what is going on in the world by reading newspapers is like trying to tell the time by watching the second hand of a clock.” The education process is filled with billions of “seconds” and pieces of information that, all being emphasized as important to know, serve more to cloud than clarify the meaning of time and what happens within it. It emphasizes the threads not the tapestry, the parts not the whole.
For Dewey , it was vitally important that education should not be the teaching of mere dead fact, but that the skills and knowledge which students learn be integrated fully into their lives as persons, citizens and human beings, hence his advocacy of “learning-by-doing” and the incorporation of the student’s past experiences into the classroom.
Unusually for his time, Montaigne was willing to question the conventional wisdom of the period, calling into question the whole edifice of the educational system, and the implicit assumption that university-educated philosophers were necessarily wiser than uneducated farm workers, for example.
In his book on Whitehead, Process Philosophy, and Education, Robert Brumbaugh takes up the Whiteheadian challenge and in so doing sees himself working “in the tradition of Platonic metaphysics that includes the new emphasis on the concrete introduced by process thought” (WPP 2). Like Whitehead, he criticizes the unthinking acceptance of the seventeenth-century notion of space as a perfect insulator and physical things as located in a Cartesian pure space.
In a broad sense this includes not only philosophical approaches specifically termed “analytical philosophy” (such as conceptual analysis or ordinary language analysis), but also a broader orientation that approaches the philosophical task as spelling out a set of rational conditions that educational aims and practices ought to satisfy, while leaving it up to other public deliberative processes to work out what they might be in specific.