The Educated Mind : How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding is a 1997 book on educational theory by Kieran Egan. The philosophy of education is the study of the purpose process nature and ideals of Education. Kieran Egan (born 1942 is a contemporary Educational philosopher and a student of the Classics, Anthropology, Cognitive psychology, and
Egan argues that the whole of educational theorizing pivots around three basic ideas of what the aim of education should be:
Egan argues in chapter one that, "these three ideas are mutually incompatible, and this is the primary cause of our long-continuing educational crisis"; the present educational program in much of the West attempts to integrate all three of these incompatible ideas, resulting in a failure to effectively achieve any of the three.
Egan's proposed solution to the education problem which he identifies is to: let learning follow the natural way the human mind develops and understands. According to Egan, individuals proceed through five kinds of understanding:
"Drawing from an extensive study of cultural history and evolutionary history and the field of cognitive psychology and anthropology, Egan gives a detailed account of how these various forms of understanding have been created and distinguished in our cultural history". The term cultural history (from the German term) refers both to an Academic discipline and to its subject matter 
Each stage includes a set of "cognitive tools", as Egan calls them, that enrich our understaning of reality. Egan argues that recapitulating this stages is necessary to overcoming the contradictions between the Platonic, Rousseauian and socialising goals of education.
Egan resists the suggestion that religious understanding could be a further last stage, arguing instead that religious explanations are examples of philosophic understanding.
Egan main influences come from the Russian psychologist Lev Vygotsky. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (Russian Лев Семёнович Выготский ( November 17 ( November 5 Old Style) 1896 – June 11, 1934 The idea of applying theory of recapitulation to education came from 19th century philosopher Herbert Spencer, although Egan uses it in a very different way. The theory of recapitulation, also called the biogenetic law or embryological parallelism, and often expressed as Ontogeny recapitulates Phylogeny Herbert Spencer ( April 27, 1820 – December 8, 1903) was an English Philosopher; prominent classical liberal Egan also uses educational ideas from William Wordsworth and expresses regret that Wordworth's ideas, because they were expressed in poetry, are rarely considered today.
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It is possible to draw parallels with Piaget's stages of development; 'somatic' is a combination of the Sensorimotor stage and the Preoperational stage. Jean Piaget pjaʒɛ ( August 9, 1896 &ndash September 16, 1980) was a Swiss philosopher, natural scientist The Theory of Cognitive Development (one of the most historically influential theories was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Philosopher (1896–1980 The Theory of Cognitive Development (one of the most historically influential theories was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Philosopher (1896–1980 'Mythic' is the Concrete operational stage and 'Philosophic' and 'Ironic' are elaborations of the Formal Operational stage. The Theory of Cognitive Development (one of the most historically influential theories was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Philosopher (1896–1980 The Theory of Cognitive Development (one of the most historically influential theories was developed by Jean Piaget, a Swiss Philosopher (1896–1980
The same year the essay was published (1997), Italian comedian-satirist Daniele Luttazzi used Egan ideas for his character Prof. Daniele Luttazzi (born January 26 1961 real name Daniele Fabbri, is an Italian comedian writer Satirist, illustrator and singer/songwriter Fontecedro in the popular TV show Mai dire gol, aired on Italia 1. Italia 1 is an Italian commercial Television station on the Mediaset network Fontecedro was satirizing the inadequacies of Italian school system, and the reforms proposed by Luigi Berlinguer, 1996-2000 Ministry of Education of Italy. A school (from Greek σχολεῖον - scholeion) is an Institution designed to allow and encourage Students (or "pupils" Fontecedro' sketches brought Kieran' theory to extreme levels with surreal humor. The jokes were later published in the book Cosmico! (1998, Mondadori, ISBN 88-04-46479-8), where the 5 stages mind development is also cited at pp. See also Mathematics of humor A joke is a short story or ironic depiction of a situation communicated with the intent of being humorous. Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar) Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, ( Borsa Italiana: MNDI is the second biggest Publishing company in Italy. 45-47.
previous works on ironic knowledge:
ReviewsMerlin Wilfred Donald (born November 17, 1939) is a Canadian psychologist and cognitive neuroscientist, and a researcher