PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (). (c) Oxford University Press, 2015. We will explore philosophical aspects of the concepts of freedom and equality, the perceived tension between these concepts in political philosophy, and the educational ideas associated with different ways of thinking about individual freedom, social justice and equality.
Unschooling differs from conventional schooling principally in the thesis that standard curricula and conventional grading methods, as well as other features of traditional schooling, are counterproductive to the goal of maximizing the education of each child.
As a branch of practical philosophy, its practitioners look both inward to the parent discipline of philosophy and outward to educational practice, as well as to developmental psychology, cognitive science more generally, sociology, and other relevant disciplines.
However, some works in this genre are among the classics of educational thought”—a more felicitous label than philosophy of education”; cases in point would be the essays, pamphlets and letters of Thomas Arnold (headmaster of Rugby school), John Wesley (the founder of Methodism), J.H. (Cardinal) Newman, T.H. Huxley, and the writings on progressive schooling by A.S. Neill (of Summerhill school).
In such a society a philosopher may at least seek to help educators concerned about moral, scientific, historical, aesthetic, or religious education by presenting them, respectively, with a philosophy of morality, science, history, art, or religion from which they may draw conclusions about their aims and methods.