Ontology of education

Ontology of education. Ontology is a branch of philosophy that deals with the study of entities through the schematization of categories and subcategories. This branch has managed to develop lines of knowledge through its approach, and in this, education has also been its object of study.

Ontology of education
Ontology of education

In this article we have to know the ontology of education, specifically, its concept and its categories.

What is it?

The ontology of education is a sub area of ontology that is responsible for the philosophical analysis of the Being in education, in order to understand education from a strictly human and universal process.

Its study is aimed at understanding education based on its categorization, without recognizing a specific process or purpose. The objective is to determine the agents that make up education, finding those aspects that unify it as a human practice.

To achieve its analyzes, the ontology of education starts from Aristotle’s description of it: “Education is the principle by which the human community preserves, transmits and improves its physical and spiritual peculiarity. With the change that is promoted from education, it is assumed that the expectations of individuals are broadened ”.

The ontology of education plays an important role today, being an approach that promotes the constant evolution of the categories that explain the educational system. With this, it is intended to constantly reformulate education, promoting its strengths, and thus, increasing its reach over society.

Thanks to this approach, it is possible to find constant transformations in the education system, thus optimizing all the agents really responsible for the educational process in a society.

It could be said that the ontology of education is the mechanism that allows education to adapt to the needs of human beings, appropriating the necessary elements to achieve it.


In the search for a greater understanding of the ontology of education, it is necessary to analyze the categories that constitute it. In this regard, we find three main bases:

  1. Education agents: These are the institutions that generate realities for interaction in the education process, precisely dialectical interaction, which together with the subjects, is part of the education agents respectively.
  2. Educational reality: These are those symbolizations that occur in educational spaces, which are part of all the practices that explain communication and the exchange of ideas. The educational reality explains the social interaction that is needed for education to transform and transmit both spiritual and material values.
  3. Subjects: In a more developed sense, we meet again the so-called subjects of education. Here, we talk about two main actors, known as the educator and the learner. These are part of an unbreakable unit, constituting the basis of the educational process. The educator is in charge of teaching and conducting, while the learner, the learning process.
  4. Community: They are all humans who are part of the social and historical relationship of education. A community is linked through its culture and traditions, also sharing common spaces where multiple activities converge.
  5. State: They are part of the institutions that regulate educational activity, creating policies that promote educational processes, as well as schooling. It will determine the means of communication that are used for education, as well as all the rules relating to their exercise.
  6. Church: The church is part of another of the agents of education. This, considering that rituals such as preaching are part of the most important bases for forming adequate individuals to a society.
  7. Educational elements: They are part of the educational process, being necessary tools for teaching, instruction and orientation, since they allow the educational material to be made into explicit content. Teaching and instruction are the main elements that we could call educational.
  8. Orientation: Specifically, social orientation. It is a criterion that is made uniform in the individuals that make up a society, who promote and enact the importance of education as a transforming process of individuals. Through this, people are inserted in education, and with it, the quality of life increases thanks to constant training.

The ontology of education constitutes one of the most important ramifications of ontology and philosophy, since thanks to this, it has been possible to elaborate a systematized body of concepts, aimed at developing an increasingly essential model of knowledge.


The ontology of education refers to the philosophical study of the nature and purpose of education. It is based on the branch of philosophy known as ontology, which is concerned with the nature of being and existence. In the context of education, ontology focuses on understanding the essence of education, as well as its foundations and fundamental principles.

Broadly speaking, the ontology of education seeks to answer fundamental questions such as: What is education? What is its ultimate purpose? What is the nature of educational processes? These questions help us to understand the underlying philosophical and conceptual basis of education and to reflect on its meaning and value in society.

One of the key aspects of the ontology of education is the focus on the human being as the central subject of the educational process. It recognises that education is not simply a process of transmitting knowledge, but also involves the development of the whole person in intellectual, moral, emotional and social terms. Therefore, the ontology of education emphasises the formation of the person as an autonomous human being, capable of thinking critically, acting ethically and contributing meaningfully to society.

Furthermore, the ontology of education is concerned with the relationship between the individual and the world around him/her. It recognises that education does not occur in a vacuum, but is influenced by cultural, historical and social factors. Therefore, the ontology of education examines how these contexts influence educational processes and how education can contribute to the development of a more just, equitable and democratic society.

In short, the ontology of education is a field of philosophical study that seeks to understand the nature and purpose of education. It focuses on the development of the whole person and the relationship between the individual and his or her environment. Through this deep reflection, it seeks to foster meaningful and relevant education that contributes to human flourishing and social well-being.


  1. Fernández, J. (2014). The Ontology of Education as a reference for understanding itself and the world (In Spanish). Redalyc. Recovered from: https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/4418/441846098003.pdf
  2. (S / F). Ontology of education (In Spanish). Philosophy of education. Retrieved from: http://filosofiadelaeducacionvenezuela4.blogspot.com/2016/12/ontologia-de-la-educacion.html

Editions: 2021-23

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