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Philosophy is an approach to thinking that attempts to make sense of the world. The process of forming philosophies involve the contemplation and analysis of knowledge (Thompson, 2010, xii-xiii) in a manner that may be rooted in personal experiences, beliefs and societal norms. Theory, on the other hand, is based on a concept that identifies the relationship between two variables and is subsequently tested using qualitative and quantitative research methods (Gray and McBlain, 2015). The result of research and testing determines the validity of a theory and its success in being replicated. When comparing both concepts, the conclusion is that the primary difference between philosophy and theory is that the former can’t be tested and proven factual whereas the latter can be tested to determine its validity.In the context of education, philosophies seem to provide a starting point for the formation of hypotheses that lead to theories. Dewey believed that education should be experiential and interactive which eventually led to his theory of experiential learning. Without first reflecting on how children acquire information, we may not be able to form a hypothesis that supports the relationship between educational approaches and learning. It isn’t entirely surprising that philosophies and theories are different in nature as the study of both allows a person to form a more comprehensive understanding of a topic and in this instance, child development.An understanding of the similarities and differences between philosophies and theories may encourage an educator to reflect on their perspectives on children. Theories may serve and a guide and alter an educator’s philosophy so that it remains up to date and raises the quality of learning. Over the years, an adult’s perspective on children has changed, from a child’s mind as a ‘blank slate’ that needed to be shaped to children being constructors of their own knowledge. 

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