The ethical orientations of education as a practice in its own right

Ethics and Education 6 (1):27 - 40 (2011)
Abstract
This article is the second of a two-part investigation, the first part of which was published in Ethics and Education, vol. 5, issue 2, 2010, under the title ?Preface to an ethics of education as a practice in its own right?. Although it builds on the arguments of that ?preface?, this second part of the investigation can be read as a stand-alone essay. It begins with a brief review of a new subordination of educational practice achieved by a neo-liberal tenor in international educational reforms in recent decades in Western societies. The practical context for the essay however is that failure of many of these reforms, like the failure of neo-liberal dominance in socio-economic policy, has given rise to emergent opportunities where inspirations for educational debate and policy-making are concerned. Arguing for the uptake of such opportunity, the ethical tenor of education as a practice in its own right is explored under four headings: (1) review and clarification of the inherent purposes of education as a practice; (2) investigation of educationally productive pathways that are characteristic of education as a practice in its own right; (3) elucidation of a recognisable family of virtues that arise from that practice itself; (4) exploration of the kinds of relationships through which these virtues, and their educational fruits, are nourished
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