Toward an Ethics of Education

This paper utilizes Foucault to offer a preliminary sketch and critique of an instrumentalist mentalite within higher education. Part one tackles some of the socio-historical issues pertaining to American universities. Here, I address questions of liberal learning and offer them as important distinctions from more narrow, curriculum-based focuses on skill-sets and workforce training. Part two provides an ethical foundation for the study of colleges and universities. Both instrumental and ethical perspectives on education are considered. Instmmental approaches appear within the discourse of education as training. Altematively, ethical approaches emerge within the discourse of education as a process of self-cultivation or care of self I tum to Foucault's notion of spirituality and argue that education is a means by which we constitute ourselves and become capable of operating within fields of ethical action
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