Educational philosophy

16 February 2023

Human flourishing is a term that relates to the full development of people and societies, something we all long for, especially in times of crisis. It is widely accepted that education is an indispensable resource to promote human flourishing. The main aim of this article is to investigate whether human flourishing can be considered as the aim of character education in the virtues development approach. Publications on the subject of flourishing have proliferated in recent years. For this study we select ones that link flourishing and the aim of moral education from the perspective of the philosophy and theory of education, developed in the Anglo-American field. Assertions by David Carr (2021) and Kristján Kristjánsson (2020) on the subject of flourishing and character education provide a starting point and guide for the discussion that mainly revolves around the following questions. What notion of flourishing can be theoretically sustained as an educational goal? Why is character education not considered sufficient to promote flourishing? Why is it not considered necessary either? We conclude by underlining the value of educational theory based on a realistic view of flourishing as an attainable aim of character education. Some essential components of flourishing and moral education are absent from the theories reviewed.

Please, cite this article as follows: Bernal Martínez de Soria, A., & Naval, C. (2023). El florecimiento como fin de la educación del carácter | Flourishing as the aim of character education. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 81 (284), 17-32.

22 January 2020

Philosophy with children is an ambitious pedagogical project based on a structured meditation on the conditions that make it possible and the object and aims of the educational process. This article presents a systematized overview of the main features of Philosophy for Children (P4C), considering it to be a multifaceted and plural approach that, despite the different theorizations proposed, still possesses some basic common traits. Starting from a review of the academic literature on the topic, this article presents some of the main conceptual and practical limitations of P4C, in relation to its theoretical insight and its practical implementation. These are potentially damaging criticisms, which, if not given serious consideration, could invalidate this educational approach. After a critical discussion of the weak points of P4C, this article shows the need to reframe clearly the nature of educational practice in general and how philosophical reflection in particular can contribute to it. Accordingly, educational experience is thought to be a radical process of creation of shared meaning by a community of inquiry involved in a shared rational and emotional search for truth. Consequently, this article proves the profound value of this educational approach, which can foster a well-rounded education of people and their full integration into the social and cultural context, enabling them to enjoy a flourishing and authentic life.



This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 275 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers.Please, cite this article as follows: Scotton, P. (2020). Pensar en común, vivir en plenitud. La experiencia de la filosofía para los niños y niñas | Thinking together, living fully. Experiencing philosophy with children. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 78 (275), 103-118. doi:

9 September 2019

Information and communication technologies (ICT) have undoubtedly changed our world and the ways we live in it. Nowadays, we are more and better informed as well as having multiple channels for making immediate contact with others. However, this ability to be informed and communicate means there are constant demands on our attention to the extent it becomes distracted or overloaded. By using a document analysis methodology based on critical analysis of texts, this paper aims to provide pedagogical solutions for a capacity for attention at risk of being overwhelmed. To do so, we first describe the current context of interconnection, showing the extent to which it has some advantages, but also drawbacks that point directly at the concept of attention. Secondly, we analyse this concept from a pedagogical perspective. This, on the one hand, leads to psychology and, on the other hand, to philosophy. We show that pedagogy has focused only on the psychological perspective event though the philosophical standpoint is equally vital for education. Finally, we come to the need for a pedagogy of attention for the twenty-first century that reclaims the philosophical conception, which should have never
been forgotten.

This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 274 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Sánchez Rojo, A. (2019). Pedagogía de la atención para el siglo xxi: más allá de una perspectiva psicológica | Pedagogy of attention for the twenty-first century: beyond a psychological perspective. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (274), 421-436. doi:

10 January 2019

The introduction of the analytical method to the field of the philosophy of education led to a first golden age, which, as the method closed in on itself and isolated itself from educational reality, resulted in an epistemological and institutional crisis. In view of that crisis, the generations following that first period began a lively debate on how to move forward. This article, with the aim of considering the positions proposed, derives from this latter scenario. Its method is characterized by two basic elements. The first is a systematic review of all articles on philosophy of education by the main authors in the discipline. The second is a hermeneutic exercise that attempts to compose a unitary discourse combining the main sensitivities of all of them. This results in the identification of five notable groups that differ mainly in the relationship that philosophy of education must maintain with educational practice and, consequently, in how the philosopher’s exercise of education should be considered. This leads into a discussion about whether it is possible to consider all of these positions as integral parts of a whole that seeks to understand the phenomenon of education and improve it overall instead of regarding them as parts in themselves. If there is one reasonably clear conclusion, it is that it seems unlikely that a unifying perspective like the analytical one will reappear and that a dynamic of reciprocal dialogical relations is necessary as a new emerging paradigm.


This is the English version of an article originally printed in Spanish in issue 272 of the revista española de pedagogía. For this reason, the abbreviation EV has been added to the page numbers. Please, cite this article as follows: Luque, D. (2019). Desarrollos interpretativos de la filosofía de la educación en la tradición anglófona: un intento de sistematización | Interpretive developments of the philosophy of education in the anglophone tradition: an attempt to systematise them. Revista Española de Pedagogía, 77 (272), 67-82. doi:

19 November 2015

This is a speculative response to the article published in this journal by Fernando Gil Cantero and David Reyero advocating the priority of philosophy of education on empirical research. This answer is based on four arguments: Contemporary empirical research involves an ontology rather complex than it is assumed in their paper.The relationship between both disciplines takes place at two levels: At the most general level they are interdependent; at the lower level, close to the action, they can not contradict each other. In order to apply knowledge coming from both disciplines to practical problems, an epistemic intermediary is necessary. This intermediary combines principles derived from both disciplines, but also additional assumptions that jointly shape a pedagogical normative. The epistemic intermediary is what we call the professional wisdom, whose intertwined components are wisdom and technology, both necessary for the professional performance of teachers.

19 November 2015

This is a reply to José Luis Gavirias paper <The Priority of the Philosophy of Education over the Empirical Disciplines in Educational Research. A response to Gil Cantero and Reyero>. The main arguments to be discussed are as follows: Education is an action, not an object, nor a closed mechanism made of programmed inputs and outputs which can be probabilistically considered. Education is essentially constituted by value orientations; the complex reality of the human is not limited by what is real, current or empirical. What is possible is relevant too. Hope takes part of educational knowledge; the hope that what is unexpected finally happens. Judgment in education is a kind of unveiling, it is an empathic adequacy, it is the subjective experience of an educational ideal which appears to us as a whole coherent with a particular sense of reality.