Engaging ideas, transforming minds
Engaging ideas, transforming minds

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Canadian Scholars’ Press
131 pages
6 x 9 inches
March 2015
Print ISBN: 9781551307206


This book introduces students to the broad social, political, and philosophical questions surrounding education theory and practice. Examining five of the most influential philosophers of all time—Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Rousseau, and Dewey—the text provides insight into historical theories of education that have shaped contemporary ideas and debates. By engaging with important thinkers in the philosophical tradition, readers will be better equipped to critically evaluate the role and meanings of education in their own lives, both as students and as teachers.

Written in an accessible tone, Foundations of Education engages the reader and invites dialogue and reflection. Each chapter includes excerpts from philosophical writings, learning activities, and discussion questions, and the book also features a glossary of key terms. This volume is ideally suited to undergraduate courses in the philosophy of education and general education theory.

Related Titles

Table of Contents


Introduction: Setting the Foundations for a Philosophy of Education
Chapter 1: Plato
Chapter 2: Aristotle
Chapter 3: Locke
Chapter 4: Rousseau
Chapter 5: Dewey


Jason C. Robinson

Jason C. Robinson is Assistant Professor in the Department of Humanities at York University.


"I like the book’s historical approach, its accessible writing style, and also its brevity. It combines well with primary reading material by these five philosophers and provides a good overall introduction both to these five and to the discipline."
Paul Fairfield, Department of Philosophy, Queen’s University

"[The] text is written in a lively and engaging manner that will prove attractive to students, with a style and tone that will indeed render it accessible. I find the historical approach—which is definitely a distinctive feature of this text—to be overwhelmingly valuable."
—  Jeff Mitscherling, Department of Philosophy, University of Guelph

Instructor Resources

Adopt Foundations of Education and receive an extensive document containing select primary resources from Plato, Aristotle, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Dewey.

See sample

Student Resources

General Student Resource - Download

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