Which Philosophy Says That Education Is Life Not a Preparation for Life?


Vincent White

Education is a vital component of human life that has been the focus of countless philosophers throughout history. One such philosophy that emphasizes the importance of education is the progressive philosophy. This philosophy posits that education is not just a means to an end, but rather, it is life itself.

The Progressive Philosophy

The progressive philosophy was developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by educational reformers such as John Dewey and Jean Piaget. These thinkers believed that education should not be solely focused on preparing students for future careers or achieving high test scores, but rather on promoting personal growth and development.

According to the progressive philosophy, education should be centered around the needs and interests of the individual student. This means that teachers should work with students to create personalized learning plans that take into account their strengths, weaknesses, and passions.

Education as Life

The core tenet of the progressive philosophy is that education is life itself. This means that learning should not be confined to a classroom or textbook but should be integrated into every aspect of a student’s life. Education should be a continuous process that takes place both inside and outside of school.

In this way, students are encouraged to view themselves as active learners who are constantly engaged in exploring their world and expanding their knowledge. They are taught to ask questions, seek out answers, and challenge assumptions.

The Role of Teachers

Under the progressive philosophy, teachers play a critical role in facilitating learning. Rather than simply imparting knowledge to students, they are seen as guides who help students navigate their own learning journeys.

Teachers must be adept at creating engaging learning experiences that encourage exploration and experimentation. They must also be skilled at providing feedback and support to help students improve their skills and reach their goals.


In summary, the progressive philosophy sees education as much more than just a preparation for life. Rather, it is life itself.

By emphasizing personal growth and development over test scores and grades, this philosophy encourages students to become active learners who are engaged in exploring their world and expanding their knowledge. Teachers play a critical role in facilitating this process by creating engaging learning experiences and providing support to help students reach their full potential.