Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Shimabukuro, Shinkichi||Cleland, Kenneth L.

Degree Name

M.S. Ed. (Master of Education)

Legacy Department

School of Education




Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the educational philosophies of Frederick S. Breed, Herman H. Home, Robert Maynard Hutchins, John Lawrence Childs, William Heard Kilpatrick, and John Dewey, and to classify their philosophies in terns of their doctrines about: (1) the nature of knowledge and (2) nature of man-in-society. The study attempted to distinguish on one side (hedgehogs) who relate everything to a single central vision, and all-enveloping universial, organizing principle, a coherent unitary system which rules their thought and action - and on the other - (foxes) who pursue many ends, entertaining a vast variety of experiences and objects in and of themselves, often unrelated and contradictory, related by no moral or aesthetic principle. "The methodology consisted of choosing at random four books from the Swen Parson Library, Northern Illinois University, on contemporary comparative philosophies of education. Philosophers of education who were contributors to all four books were then analyzed by their writings in terms of the philosophical dichotomy." Summary of findings: It was found that Frederick S. Breed, Herman H. Horne, and Robert Maynard Hutchins are hedgehogs i.e., each relates everything to a single central system; whereas John Lawrence Childs, William Heard Kilpatrick, and John Dewey are foxes who pursue unrelated and even contradictory ends - ends unrelated in particular by any all-reconciling moral or aesthetic principle. Implications of the study; The study proves that philosophers may be categorized in terms of the philosophical dichotomy and indicates that this schism may be the most divisive conflict among contemporary philosophers of education. The study also indicates that educational philosophers have little influence in the actual American public school setting, though there will continue to be a wide range of disagreements among philosophers of education. Some unanswered questions! Some pertinent questions which have arisen in the course of this study are; What influence do philosophers of education have over other educators? Is there any passible concensus of agreement in terms of curriculum or educational objectives that can be reached among philosophers of education? Is the dichotomy a recent phenomenon or otherwise? Probably the most important question to be answered is the validity of each side of the dichotomy.


Includes bibliographical references.


iv, 41 pages




Northern Illinois University

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