A philosophical investigation of the role of teachers: A synthesis of Plato, Confucius, Buber, and Freire

Apr. 01, 2008

Source: Teaching and Teacher Education, Volume 24, Issue 3, April 2008, Pages 515-535

This study proposes the ideal role of teachers through the examination of Plato, Confucius, Buber, and Freire on the subject. Teachers not only contribute to the development of individuals and societies but also attain self-realization through teaching. As such, the role of teachers is important as a goal as well as a means.

To examine such role, this study selects four major approaches to understanding teaching. Plato regards teaching as guidance into objective knowledge through the reasoned understanding of causes. Confucius regards teaching as leading self-cultivation. Buber sees the role of teachers as building a relationship with their students. Freire focuses on critical consciousness towards oppressed situations.

This study regards the role of teachers as a complex of various aspects. Thus, it tries to show a more complete understanding of the role of teachers through the synthesis and comparison of these four aforementioned approaches.

Updated: Apr. 08, 2008