What is a political theory of education

Abstract
In the present essay, I attempt to develop a distinction between moral and political theories of education, inspired by the work of Amy Gutmann. The main idea is that whereas a moral theory of education gives an account of an ideal (or at least good) education, a political theory gives an account of how to structure education in a democracy where there is deep disagreement on what constitutes an ideal (or good) education. Unfortunately, we sometimes speak as though our moral theories can be unproblematically translated into the political realm, but in doing so, we are either being outright undemocratic or we underestimate the significance of the world-view pluralism in modern, liberal democracies. In order for a political theory of education to be democratically acceptable, it must fulfill the criterion of being capable of democratic translation into a society characterized by deep pluralism.
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Leonard Nelson (1928). Politics and Education. London, G. Allen & Unwin Ltd..
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