David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (6):719-738 (2008)
For Kant, education was understood as the 'means' to become human—and that is to say, rational. For Rousseau by contrast, and the many child-centred educators that followed him, the adult world, far from representing reason, is essentially corrupt and given over to the superficialities of worldly vanity. On this view, the child, as a product of nature, is essentially good and will learn all she needs to know from experience. Both positions have their own problems, but beyond this 'internal debate', the change in the content of education (i.e. child-rearing and schooling) is now furthermore due to a radical pluralism that has swept the world. Moreover, there may be differences in value between individual parents and between values held within the family and those held in society at large. Among other reasons this has put more generally children's (and parents') 'rights' on the agenda, which differs from thinking of education in terms of a 'practice'. The paper develops this latter concept and the criticisms to which it has been subject and argues that there is no necessary incompatibility between initiation into an existing practice and transforming that practice in some way, if it is emphasized how practices are learned and enacted. It then turns to the tendency in education and child-rearing, as in other spheres of human interaction, for more laws and codes of conduct and to call upon experts for all kind of matters. It argues that performativity rules on the level of the practitioner, of the experts, and even on the level of educational research. It argues that many governments have adopted in matters of schooling the language of output and school effectiveness and that something similar is now bound to happen in the sphere of child-rearing (with talk of parenting skills and courses). This is made credible due to a particular model of educational research, i.e. an empiricist quasi-causal model of explaining human behaviour. The paper then discusses the problems with this stance and argues that we should part company from the entrepreneurial manipulative educator to open up a sphere of responsiveness for the child and that for these reasons, the concept of the 'practice of child-rearing' should be revisited. Insisting on the complexities that have to be taken into account and thus surpassing a discourse of effectiveness and output as well as of codes of conduct and rulings of courts of law, may help us to focus on what is really at stake: to lead a meaningful life, to be initiated into what is 'real for us' and what we value. It concludes that thus restoring a place for child-rearing as a practice will do justice to the responsiveness to which each child is entitled.
|Keywords||government intervention educational research practice discourse of experts child‐rearing|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Paul Smeyers (2006). 'What It Makes Sense to Say': Education, Philosophy and Peter Winch on Social Science. Journal of Philosophy of Education 40 (4):463–485.
Paul Smeyers & Nicholas C. Burbules (2006). Education as Initiation Into Practices. Educational Theory 56 (4):439-449.
Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953). Philosophical Investigations = Philosophische Untersuchungen. Macmillan.
Mary Midgley (1991). Can't We Make Moral Judgements? St. Martin's Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Daniela Mercieca & Duncan P. Mercieca (2013). 'How Early is Early?'Or 'How Late is Late?': Thinking Through Some Issues in Early Intervention. Educational Philosophy and Theory 46 (8):1-15.
Similar books and articles
Paul Smeyers (1992). The Necessity for Particularity in Education and Child-Rearing: The Moral Issue. Journal of Philosophy of Education 26 (1):63–73.
Andrew Gibbons (2008). Child-Rearing Practices and Expert Identities: A Tale of Two Interventions. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (6):747-757.
Paul Smeyers (2010). Child Rearing in the “Risk” Society: On the Discourse of Rights and the “Best Interests of a Child”. Educational Theory 60 (3):271-284.
Stefan Ramaekers & Paul Smeyers (2008). Child Rearing: Passivity and Being Able to Go On. Wittgenstein on Shared Practices and Seeing Aspects. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (5):638-651.
Margaret Stephenson Meere (2009). The Child Within the Lotus: Human Behaviour From Birth. Rockpool Publishing.
Robert A. Davis (2010). Government Intervention in Child Rearing: Governing Infancy. Educational Theory 60 (3):285-298.
Sylvia[from old catalog] Goodman, Eva Reich, Peter[from old catalog] Marin & Stanley[from old catalog] Keleman (eds.) (1974). Education & Children. S.N..
Shelley Kapnek Rosenberg (2003). Raising a Mensch. Jewish Publication Society.
Bas Levering (2011). 'The Interests of the Child' Seen From the Child's Perspective: The Case of the Netherlands. Ethics and Education 6 (2):109-123.
Linda J. Graham (2008). Child-Rearing Inc.: On the Perils of Political Paralysis Down Under. Educational Philosophy and Theory 40 (6):739-746.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads21 ( #170,426 of 1,790,294 )
Recent downloads (6 months)3 ( #267,458 of 1,790,294 )
How can I increase my downloads?