Isocrates – The Forgotten Educational Philosopher

IsocratesAbout us

We are a team of students influenced by Isocrates (436-338BC), the forgotten educational philosopher. Isocrates wrote of his idea that the primary aim of education is tool for investigating problems and persuading people to action for the common good not, as Plato suggested, only useful as a seller of truth to mentally inferior audiences. The teachers role is to assist their students to exercise their practical judgement when engaging with immediate practical problems.

The father of liberal education

Isocrates’ influence on the educational system of Greece was far greater than Plato’s, who opened his own school some years after Isocrates’ school was founded in 390BC. Isocrates’ influence continued into the middle ages all over Europe, parts of North Africa as well as the Middle East. Isocrates thought education should be used to make men capable of serving the state, whereas Plato thought it should help people develop their innate capacities for seeking absolute truth.

Isocrates school mentored older adolescent boys, preparing them to lead in public life.  His students wrote speeches then spoke them aloud. Isocrates believed the written composition made reflection possible. Isocrates also believed that a successful orator needed natural ability to frame an appropriate and original speech for a particular purpose, with some critical help from the teacher.

Isocrates also believed that whilst on its own rhetoric doesn’t teach ethics or virtue, studying rhetoric has the potential to develop these traits.

The importance of education for Greeks

The main aim of education is to learn skills that can be used throughout life. The state benefits from having a well-educated workforce, the church benefits from the opportunity to foster religion in children and parents benefit from their children becoming respectable and productive members of society.

Using the Isocrates’ ideology makes the lives and decisions of students easier.  A team of students express in their own words how this educational philosopher has helped them:

Stelios: The “ivory tower” and “formal academic” approach to learning and knowing tends to be at odds with a more experiential and practical approach to learning which I find of much more practical benefit to me.

Dimitra:  English and communication studies are heavily focused on theory.  The more rhetorical education in the humanities makes me feel more involved in the study, rather than being told what to say, I’ve the freedom to form my own opinions that can be critiqued by others.

Tasos: Using Isocrates educational philosophy, we attach moral choices to political questions and address ethical concerns that can used to strengthen democracy.  It also forms and sustains the ethical beliefs that I hold, which gives me confidence.

International Financial Aid And College Scholarship Search: How To Find Resources For Financial Aid


financial aidThis article is to help Greek students wishing to study abroad. Here we help you to find the resources for financial aid and college scholarships.

Calculating how much financial aid you need

When applying for international financial aid or college scholarship, you need to plan. You will be required to prove to your chosen university or institution, to the consular officer that will issue your visa and perhaps the host country’s border agency that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses to include, where applicable; tuition fees, semester fees, student services fees, course material expenses, food, travel, accommodation, visa and health insurance costs, childcare and personal expenses.

When to apply for international financial aid

  • It is advisable to start your search for funding opportunities while or even before applying to university or other educational establishment since the two processes often require very similar applications.
  • Funding may be merit-based, need-based, need-blind, institution-specific, course-specific, subject-specific, career-specific, demographic-specific, country-specific, ability-specific or non-specific.