Philosophy of Education and the Ideological Underpinning of the Curriculum

Keywords: Curriculum, Ideology, Marxist Philosophy, Pedagogy, Philosophy of Education


The seeming corpulent connection between theory and practice informs this inquiry. Whereas there have been claims from several quarters that the decline in the quality of pedagogy lies with poor theory but where there is a sound one, its deleterious practice or application is considered a foremost culprit. Consequent upon this, this research takes a twist on this issue. Through the method of critical analysis and interpretation, the study employs the Marxist theory of education as its theoretical framework. In other words, the paper takes its cue from a Marxist perspective to posit that the society is a battle ground of ideologies. What is perceived as failed theory and/or practice in pedagogy is actually the fulfillment of an ideology of the ruling class who are not only the ruling material force but also the society’s ruling intellectual force. This clearly portends that there is an ideology behind any curriculum and its application. It is always a curriculum put in place by the ruling class. It is calculated to produce minds that would condone and uphold the hegemonic status quo of the ruling intellectual force. It therefore does not matter whether or not society develops. For development is defined by the prevailing ideology. Contrary opinions are repressed and exterminated usually through force or rhetoric. If this is the case, the question of theory and practice in pedagogy does not arise. On the contrary, the main impetus ought to be how to deal with what kind of ideology persists in a society’s educational curriculum. Hence, the current study proposes a re-thinking away from the perceived and seemingly wide abyss between theory and practice. This is because every fact and practice is theory-laden. It is the submission of this paper that the ideological basis of a curriculum demands more attention.


Download data is not yet available.

Author Biography

Mohammed Akinola Akomolafe, Department of Philosophy, Lagos State University, Nigeria

Senior Lecturer (Socio-Political Philosophy)


Carr, E.H. (1974). What is History? Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Castle, E.B. (1961). Ancient Education and Today. Harmondsworth: Penguin.

Dasaolu, B.O. (2019). «Ideology and Oladele Balogun’s Perspective on Parenthood and the ‘Educated Person.’» Filosofia Theoretica. Vol. 8 (2): 37-45.

Feuer, L.S. (Ed). (1972). Marx and Engels: Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy. London: Fontana.

Freire, P. (1997). Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: Continuum Publishing Company.

Harris, K. (1988). Education and Knowledge: A Structured Misrepresentation of Reality. London: Routledge.

Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1972). The German Ideology. Moscow: International Publishers.

Noddings, N. (1995). Philosophy of Education. Boulder: Westview Press.

Ofuasia, E. (2019). «John Dewey’s and Julius Nyerere’s Views on Education and the Implications of their Ideas for African Development.» Philosophy of Education. Vol. 25(2): 127-141 DOI:

Philips, D.C., & Siegel, H. (2013). «Philosophy of Education» in Standford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, retrieved on 25th May, 2017.

Steger, M.B., & James, P. (2013). «Levels of Subjective Globalization: Ideologies, Imaginaries, Ontologies». Perspective on Global Development and Technology. 12(1).

Abstract views: 286
PDF Downloads: 163
How to Cite
Akinola Akomolafe, M. (2020). Philosophy of Education and the Ideological Underpinning of the Curriculum. International Scientific Journal of Universities and Leadership, (10), 3-12.
Social philosophy and philosophy of education: concepts, modelsandsocial implementation