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Educational Philosophy of Immanuel Kant | Kant's Philosophy of Education


Educational Philosophy of Kant

Born on April 22, 1724 in Königsberg, Germany, Immanuel Kant was brought up in the midst of religious rites. He studied Latin, Greek and theology. Experts in the history of German education describe the eighteenth century as the Age of Pedagogy. He also contributed a lot to education in the form of pedagogical philosophy or education philosophy. Kant did not express any views on education independently, but the information related to the concept of education becomes available from his philosophical thinking, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.

Kant believed that the real education is that which helps a person to understand the material world and can generate faith in religion and faith in God.

Aims of Education 

Through education, Kant wanted to make a person aware of the physical world on the one hand, and on the other hand wanted to make him a true-minded creature. Accordingly, Kant determined the main objectives of education as follows :-


1. Physical development of man- 

Kant believed that man is the sum of body and mind. Therefore the first requirement is that proper development of his body should be possible through education.

2. Development of mental powers- 

Kant believed that whatever a man experiences through his senses, its real nature can be understood only through logic. Therefore, his mental powers should be developed through education.

3. To give man the real knowledge of the objective world - 

Kant thought that the knowledge of the objective world is essential for human life. Therefore, the aim of education should be to provide real knowledge of the objective world.

4. To create man's faith in religion and faith in God- 

Kant believed that the aim of education should be to create faith in religion and faith in God. Kant believed that religion only leads man towards moral life.

5. Development of moral qualities in man- 

Kant considered development of moral qualities in man essential. He considered his duty above the person. From this point of view, education should be such that it can make possible the development of moral qualities in human beings.


Immanuel Kant Contribution to Philosophy of Education 

Process of Education 

Kant presented his views on education of all age groups i.e. from infancy to adulthood as follows:

  • basic education
  • family education
  • school education 
  • university education 
  • general adult education and 
  • senior citizen education

According to Kant , the basic nature of the child should not be destroyed by artificial means.

Children need to be happy, have a generous heart and have eyes as bright as the sun. Children may have a natural tendency to act on their own if it is harmful which needs to be restricted as they may harm themselves in the process. But in the process of controlling them, they should not be bullied, neither should they treat everything as a game, nor should they try to reason with everything.

Freedom of children should not be hindered but necessary attention should be given so that they do not harm themselves and do not limit the freedom of others by their actions. Children should work as well as play. It is not necessary for one to sacrifice the other and a proper balance should be maintained.


Education Curriculum 

Kant believed that language, literature, philosophy, mathematics, science and technology, logic should be given place in the curriculum of any country.

He was not in favor of including religion in the curriculum of education because he used to elieve that religion is not a matter of learning, but a matter of faith

Teaching Methods

Kant has given the most emphasis on the nature of knowledge and the methods of acquiring it.

According to Kant, there are two types of knowledge - practical knowledge and spiritual knowledge. Practical knowledge can be obtained only through the experience of the senses. For this, it is necessary that the four senses of the brainsensitivity, intelligence, emotion and willpower should be functional. In relation to teaching methods, Kant believes that


1. The brain and senses should be activated for learning

2. Perception of knowledge should be done through the senses.

3. The knowledge gained through the senses should be put to the test of logic through the intellect.

4. The veracity of the results obtained on the basis of logic should be tested.

Kant's Philosophy of Education 


Disciplined behavior and actions save man from getting into trouble. Children need to be sent to school in the early years not for instruction but to learn to be quiet and do what they are told. Thus they learn to discipline themselves which can be difficult to teach at home. This work needs to be accomplished by education, as God has given man the pre-power of reason, and his decision of good or bad depends only on him. The basis of education needs to be universal or international in nature, so that global peace is established.

Kant believed in eternal moral rules and considered their observance as discipline. He believed that only a person who has faith in God and faith in religion can follow the eternal moral rules.



Kant wanted to see the teacher as a person who is studious, contemplative and leads a simple life.


Kant was in favor of democracy. For this reason, he wanted to give freedom to the students to choose the field of study, to reason and draw conclusions. He used to say that by this the student would be able to acquire real knowledge.

Nature of Education and School 

Public Vs Private Education Kant has expressed his clear opinion that education should be provided either by the state or by private institutions. Education should meet the needs of the learners. For example, if the rulers provide education, they will have in mind the welfare of the state and not the development of individuals through it. They should provide grants for education but profit should not be aimed at it.

Private educational institutions should educate youth for personal development and social development.


Kant considered school to be necessary for systematic knowledge but he wanted that no knowledge should be imposed from above in these schools.

Kant was in favor of giving public education, female education, vocational education, religious and moral education.

In short, Kant wanted physical, mental, social, cultural, moral and professional development of man through education. They should be prepared to achieve national goals by giving them citizenship education.

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