Education as a Human Science: A Critical Reflection

By Philip Higgs.

Published by The Humanities Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

When reflecting critically on issues concerned with education in society it is necessary to consider the following question: in what scientific paradigm should educational theory and practice be located in order to address issues concerned with education in society in an educationally responsible manner?
In this paper, I argue that for education theory and practice to address issues concerned with education in an educationally responsible manner, it is necessary that education theory and practice be located in the tradition of the human sciences. The human sciences have their origin in values that have to do with the human condition. This being the case, education theory and practice should not be sacrificed in the service of educational policies that are driven by an ideological intent be it political, cultural, social or economic. In the event of such a categorical misplacement of intent, the resultant politicisation and en-culturation of education gives rise to the ideological myth of education that in turn leads to the demise of the responsible role of education in society. What is needed to make education theory and practice a responsible force in society is the return of education theory and practice to the tradition of the human sciences.

Keywords: Education, Human Sciences, Social Sciences

International Journal of the Humanities, Volume 7, Issue 4, pp.31-40. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.174MB).

Prof. Philip Higgs

Research Professor, School for Graduate Studies, University of South Africa, Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa

I am a Research Professor in the School for Graduate Studies at the University of South Africa. My research interests focus on issues in higher education, African philosophy and education, and theoretical frameworks in education.

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