Philosophical Foundations of Education

Studies in the philosophical foundations of education explore humanities, sociology, philosophy and the history of educational trends. Educational policy and its methods are the main facets of a degree program. Read on to learn more.

Inside Philosophical Foundations of Education

The decision to pursue a degree in education should be made by those who have the desire to shape educational policy and possess a vision for change. Studies covering the philosophical foundations of education examine social policy involving schools and curricula. Aspiring professionals in this field may examine the various ways students learn subjects as well as how to set up teaching environments that stimulate critical thought and emphasize the importance of solid curricula.

Education Information

The study of philosophical foundations of education is typically offered as a master's degree program. The main goal of a program in philosophical foundations of education is to prepare students for administrative roles in an education environment and prepare them for potential future study in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) or Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) program.

A large component of a degree program in philosophical foundations of education is the idea of social justice. Since education administrators typically create and control education policy, there is opportunity to change demographic inequities. Consequently, in their coursework, students of these graduate programs are encouraged to focus on a specific demographic that may be underrepresented, according to factors such as gender, race or socioeconomic class.

Degree coursework may include classes in education psychology, education philosophy, cultural foundations of education and education history in certain political societies. A core course in the philosophical foundations of education may examine the various historical periods and philosophies that have influenced the modern American system. Students are challenged to critically analyze how different philosophies have left an imprint on the education system as a social institution. If you think this is a field of study you'd like to pursue, review the relevant programs shown below.

Distance Learning Options

While certificate programs in education administration may be completed online, most degree programs require some type of in-person or classroom experience. In order to qualify for most state licensures, direct experience with teaching students is needed. Some online courses may prepare students to take licensure examinations. The articles listed below offer more information about online learning programs.

Required Skills

Leadership roles in the field of education require individuals to be idea-oriented, practical and knowledgeable about research methods. In addition, prospective education administrators and educators need to be self-directed, creative and persuasive. They should have a desire for continuous improvement and be goal-oriented. Prior experience in the education system as a teacher is highly recommended.

Career Options

Individuals who complete a program focused on the philosophical foundations of education may seek careers in education administration. Education administrators include principals, school district superintendents and college deans. They are responsible for supervising the methods of their teachers and for determining the direction of the school or academic department. State licensure may be required for some administrator positions and a master's degree is typically the minimum education requirement.

Besides education administrator, other potential career options in this field include university professor, researcher, sociologist, school board member or chairperson. Existing educators who complete studies in this field may choose to continue teaching while taking on administrative duties. Review the links below for more details about employment opportunities.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to research conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for education administrators in postsecondary school settings was expected to grow 15 percent from 2012-2022, which is considered faster than average when compared to all other occupations in the country. K-12 principals were predicted to experience a much slower increase in available jobs, specifically 6 percent over the aforementioned decade. The median annual wage for elementary and secondary school administrators was $88,380 in May 2013, while postsecondary administrators earned $87,410, according to the BLS (

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