Socrates cautioned his students that the unexamined life is a life not worth living. Education is a process in which the individual must routinely question the very roots of self-knowledge. The goal of such a process is the creation of a total individual, one in whom the higher ideals of life have been instilled.
Integral to a philosophy of education is the notion that each student is a unique individual and
must be treated with respect. Students must not be taught specific bits of knowledge but rather how to learn, how to think, and how to acquire knowledge. Therefore, education is really little more than a process in which the student learns how to learn. Such a process is set in motion if the instructor treats the student as an extension of him/herself. In this way, the improvement of the student is necessarily the improvement of the instructor. A basic belief of any philosophy of education is that an instructor has achieved their goal if a student learns something about him/herself.
The relationship between student and instructor is grounded in mutual trust. The instructor ought not to engage the student for the sole purpose of imparting his knowledge. The student has knowledge and the instructor must be skillful in pulling knowledge from the student. The role of
the instructor is to engage the student to reveal that knowledge through a clever dialogue of question and answer.
The ultimate purpose of education, at any level, is to produce individuals who strive for excellence for themselves, their peers, and their community. In this way, students enter the rest of their lives with the valuable lesson and confidence that they can make a difference. In the final analysis, the student infused with the higher ideals of life will take those ideals into the larger community whereby the improvement of self is translated into the improvement of all.