Higher education makes an importantcontribution to citizenship. In the UnitedStates, the required portion of the ``liberalarts education'' in colleges and universitiescan be reformed so as to equip students for thechallenges of global citizenship. The paperadvocates focusing on three abilities: theSocratic ability to critize one's owntraditions and to carry on an argument on termsof mutual respect for reason; (2) the abilityto think as a citizen of the whole world, notjust some local region or group; and (3) the``narrative imagination,'' the (...) ability to imaginewhat it would be like to be in the position ofsomeone very different from oneself. The paperdiscusses the role of the ``liberal arts''curriculum in U.S. education and asks howEuropean universities, with their differentstructure, might promote these three abilities. (shrink)
What is philosophy of education? This question has been answered in as many ways as there are those who self-identify as philosophers of education. However, the questions our field asks and the research conducted to answer them often produce papers, essays, and manuscripts that we can read, evaluate, and ponder. This paper turns to those tangible products of our scholarly activities. The titles, abstracts, and keywords from every article published from 2000 to 2010 in four journals of educational (...) philosophy were analyzed to find out what kind of research is being published in the field of philosophy of education. Over 143 different concepts were identified and analyzed from 1,572 articles. The data suggests that philosophy and education, while primarily concerned with theory, teaching, and learning, tackles a diversity of subjects in a slightly narrowing band of thematic topics. (shrink)
The article deals with the problem of the disciplinary identification of thephilosophy of music education. It explores alternative approaches to thephilosophy of music education and its relation to musical pedagogy. On thebasis of this analysis an account of the philosophy of music education as aphilosophical discipline is suggested and its specific function identified.
Educational worries about indoctrination are linked to matters of rationality and of the ethics of belief. These are both threatened by too 'open' approaches to moral education and by too 'closed' approaches to science education. The moral importance of what is involved points to the need to inform the teaching of all disciplines by reflection on their rational foundations.
From a historical point of view, theuniversity as an institution has had the roleof educating an elite, rather than any obvioustask of enforcing democracy. But what kind ofexpectations regarding citizenship anddemocracy can we justifiably have when it comesto the role of higher education and ouruniversities today when higher education isundergoing a process of massification. Couldthe university eventually become a place fordeliberative communication, developingdeliberative qualities among its many students?According to the contributions presented here âstemming from a conference on the (...) theme``Higher education, democracy and citizenship'',held at Ãrebro university, Sweden 2000 âthe answer is yes, to some extent, if there isroom for pluralism in different dimensions,opportunities to challenge one's own tradition,and tolerance and respect for the concreteother. (shrink)
This contribution first searches for historical and empirical evidence for whether and how curricula act or acted as a measure of public education. The problem is explicated on account of a short history of curriculum work and distinguished in a analytical, a political, programmatical and practical discourse of curriculum work. Curriculum work always underlies premises of planning, learning and effects. Three models are finally developed and brought in touch with the different discourses. Curriculum work proves to be an attempt (...) to make publicly acceptable the empirically impossible accountability of schools. (shrink)
This article attempts a philosophical defense of an autonomy-based approach to multicultural education. I contend that multicultural education is necessary in order for students to be able to develop personal autonomy. This, in turn, can empower students to effectively formulate their own version of the good life. The development of autonomy need not, as many critics claim, promote atomistic individualism. Rather, contemporary liberal autonomy strives for a balance between the individual and the community. In defending multicultural education, (...) my argument relies on Joseph Raz's notion of autonomy and Will Kymlicka's concept of a context of choice. I conclude that through multicultural education, students can expand their contexts of choice and consequently develop individual autonomy, an essential ingredient of the good life. (shrink)
In this article an attempt is made to provide a re-vision of philosophy of education that will redress the legacy of the past in South Africa, and contribute to laying the foundations of a critical civil society with a culture of tolerance, public debate and accommodation of differences and competing interests. This re-vision of philosophy of education, which finds its roots in developments in philosophy in the twentieth century, and especially in the discourse of postmodernism, directs attention to (...) a pluralistic problem-centred approach to philosophy of education. (shrink)
I argue that lying has many dimensions, hence, some putativecases of lying may not match our intuitions or acceptedmeanings of lying. The moral lesson we should teach must be that lying is not a simple principle or feature, buta cluster of features or spectrum of shades, where anythingin the spectrum or cluster is considered lying. I argue thatthe view regarding lying as a single principle or featurehas problematic meta-ethical implications. I do a meta-ethicalanalysis of the meaning of lying, not only (...) to indicatesuch problems, but also the need to teach the act ofrational discussion and meta-ethical analysis. I arguethat the process of meta-ethical analysis and rationaldiscussion should be part of moral education, in that itmay help to develop critical thought about the abilityand practice of making good and rational moral judgments. (shrink)
Debate about multicultural education in the USAhas been marked by anxieties about thestability of a nation that is both increasinglyculturally diverse and increasingly resistantto coercive assimilative practices. Apolitically and morally persuasivemulticulturalism must seek to dispel ratherthan evade these anxieties. One educationalvenue in which they must be addressed ishistory teaching. The possibility ofcultivating democratic patriotism in theteaching of a genuinely multicultural Americanhistory is discussed.
This article seeks to reconstruct the early writings of George Herbert Mead in order to explore the significance of his work for the development of an intersubjective conception of education. The reconstruction takes its point of departure in Mead's claim that reflective consciousness has a social situation as its precondition. In a mainly chronological account of Mead's writings on psychology and philosophy from the period 1900â1925, it is shown how Mead explains the social origin of conscious reflection and self-consciousness. (...) It is further shown, how Mead redefines the social in terms of meaningful, creative, radically undetermined, but not yet conscious, interaction. Mead's position thereby implies a reversal of the traditional way in which the relationship between subjectivity and intersubjectivity is conceived. The article ends with an outline of the main implications of this reversal for our understanding of education. (shrink)
The positioning of theory in relation to educational practice has provoked much recent debate, with some arguing that educational theory constrains thinking in education, while others dismiss ‘theory’ out of hand as belonging to the world of the ‘academic’, abstracted from the ‘realities’ of the classroom. This paper views theory as necessarily implicated in all practices, but argues that depending on the theories embraced, and the understanding of theory itself, education can be understood in very different ways. Resisting (...) the separation of theory from practice, the paper takes up the call to consider the entanglement of theory with practice, or how theory matters. It takes formative assessment as a particularly fertile case for this discussion. Formative assessment has been considerably developed in schooling across different national education systems. Its aspiration is for assessment to support learning, rather than only to credentialise learning. Having first emerged as a concept when behaviourism held sway, it has been considered through different theoretical lenses. Drawing upon empirical studies of classroom assessment practices, the paper draws out the different ‘mattering’ implicated in the different languages of assessment used by practitioners, raising questions about the practices this produced. The paper concludes by asking if formative assessment could become ‘educational’ in a more radical sense, if opportunities to focus on the contingencies and politics of our meaning-making were sometimes taken up more openly and dialogically with students, as opposed to formative assessment sitting in a instrumental relationship to a given curriculum. (shrink)
This paper considers the role of physicaleducation researchers within current publicconcerns about body shape and weight. UsingUlrich Beck's notion of `risk' it examines howcertainty about children, obesity, exercise andhealth is produced in the contexts of `expert'knowledge and recontextualised in the academicand professional physical education literature.It is argued that the unquestioning acceptanceof the obesity discourses in physical educationhelps to construct anxieties about the body,which are detrimental to students and silencesalternative ways of thinking and doing physicaleducation.
Political liberalism, conceived of as a response to the diversity of conceptions of the good in multicultural societies, aims to put forward a proposal for how to organize political institutions that is acceptable to a wide range of citizens. It does so by remaining neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good while giving all citizens a fair opportunity to access the offices and positions which enable them to pursue their own conception of the good. Public educational institutions are at the (...) center of the state’s attempt to foster both of these commitments. I argue that recent empirical research on the role that non-cognitive dispositions (such as assertiveness) play in enabling students to have access to two important primary goods – opportunities for higher education and desirable jobs – creates a distinctive challenge for a liberal egalitarian education in remaining neutral with respect to conceptions of the good while promoting equal opportunity. (shrink)
References to moral education in New Zealand over the last fifteen years are traced through official and semi-official government reports, teachers’ publications, and other sources. It is argued that since 1962 there has been an increasing awareness of and concern with moral education. -/- The significance of the Commission on Education in New Zealand in 1962 stressed that New Zealand schools’ prime responsibility was for intellectual education, although they should also be concerned with physical, emotional, and (...) moral development. -/- Since the Commission’s report it has been noticeable that subsequent reports and papers such as the Education Departments booklet Social Education, the reports from the nation-wide educational development conference and the teachers’ union publication Education in Change have indicated that the school should adopt greater responsibility in the area of moral education. The 1977 Johnson Report strongly supported the introduction of moral education in schools and precipitated considerable public debate. (shrink)
The article highlights what is referred to by the concept of generaleducation (Allgemeine PÃ¤dagogik). It is seen as a foundational part ofeducation as a discipline dealing with Bildung and Erziehung philosophicallyand it has traditionally constituted the kernel of the discipline ofeducation. Today it seems as if the interest towards the philosophyand theory of education (i.e. general education) is increasing.
The central questions raised by Allan Bloom's The Closing of theAmerican Mind are often overlooked. Among the most important ofBloom's themes is the impact of nihilism upon education. Bloom condemnsnihilism. Interestingly, we find among his critics two alternativejudgments. Richard Schacht, citing Nietzsche, asserts that nihilism,while fruitless in and of itself, is a necessary prerequisite tosomething higher. Harry Neumann, affirming the accuracy of nihilism,declares that both Bloom and Nietzsche reject nihilism out of ignoranceborn of weakness. All three philosophers understand that (...) the purpose ofeducation emerges from one's position on nihilism. If nihilism is true,then it is senseless and cowardly to teach one's students that there aregrounds for moral judgments. On the other hand, if one believes thatthere is an objective higher and lower in moral matters, then one cannotat the same time consistently endorse nihilism or the atheism upon whichit rests. There is reason to believe that a consistent nihilism isimpossible and hence that the concept is bankrupt. But then something istrue, and there are grounds for moral judgment. Education must respondaccordingly. But even Bloom with his emphasis on the Great Books fallsshort of what is required. An education which aims to defeat nihilismmust, at the very least, hold out the promise that through thecultivation of reason one may indeed arrive at the truth. (shrink)
This paper begins with a discussion of Stanley Cavell’s philosophy of language learning. Young people learn more than the meaning of words when acquiring language: they learn about (the quality of) our form of life. If we—as early childhood educators—see language teaching as something like handing some inert thing to a child, then we unduly limit the possibilities of education for that child. Cavell argues that we must become poets if we are to be the type of representatives of (...) language that education calls for. In the final section of the paper I discuss the work of Lucy Sprague Mitchell, someone who developed an approach to language teaching that overlaps in interesting ways with Cavell’s approach in The Claim of Reason. (shrink)
In this article, I examine anew the moral philosophy of Immanuel Kant and its contributions to educational theory. I make four claims. First, that Kant should be read as having the Categorical Imperative develop out of subjective maxims. Second, that moral self-perfection is the aim of moral education. Third, that moral self-perfection develops by children habituating the results of their moral maxims in scenarios and cases. Fourth, that character and culture, Kant’s highest aims for humanity, are the ultimate beneficiaries (...) of this process. (shrink)
Troubled times in education means that philosophers of education, who seem to never stop making defenses of our field, have to do so with more flexibility and a greater understanding of how peripheral we may have become. The only thing worse than a defensive philosopher is a confident and certain philosopher, so it may be that our very marginality will give us renewed energies for problematizing education. Occupying our marginal position carefully and in concert with other marginal (...) inquiries, I think, will do our field good. Because of its attention to what it takes to be willing to learn and to approach theoretical and real world obstacles with open if cautious interest, philosophy of education is about holding concepts and movements in tension, bending the implications of commonplace, commonsensical ideas about education, and carefully examining the all of these maneuvers for the exclusions they wittingly and unwittingly produce. Problematizing the certainties derived from majoritarian positions, be it whiteness, Westernness, or any other dominant perspective, can provide us with a diversity of claims to scrutinize and epistemological positions to be wary of. (shrink)
This article sheds light on the European Union’s policy on citizenship; on the collective dimension of this policy, its ‘we’. It is argued that the inclusive, identity-constituting forces prominent in EU policy on European citizenship serve as a basis for the exclusion of people, which is illustrated by the recent expulsion of Romani from France. Based on a reading of Derrida, the twofold aim of this article is to reformulate the concept of a European citizenship ‘we’ and secondly, to outline (...) some implications of this reframing as concerns the role of education in the formation of citizens. (shrink)
A school that adopts a curriculum, that aims for a holistic understanding of technology, does so because it produces a better educated person than a curriculum which does not. How do we know when we are teaching technology holistically and why must we do so? Increasingly, more is asked of technology educators to be holistic in the understanding conveyed to learners of technology itself in order to make better informed technical and design decisions in a wider range of applied settings. (...) The ability of the learner to naturally consider social and environmental factors, for example, when seeking solutions is seen by some State education systems in Australia as fundamental to a genuine education in technology (New South Wales Board of Studies, 2000 & 2002). In philosophy, the holist position asserts that to understand the particular one must understand its relation to the whole and that only through reflection of one's sensation based applications can genuine knowledge be critically affirmed (Matthews, 1980, p.87 & p.93). The combined apparently independent paths of the State and the Holist positions set a compelling scene not only for the socio-economic necessity for holistic technology education in the curriculum but also for Technology's status as a key curriculum agent in the knowledge formation process of educated individuals. -/- This paper asserts that the general elements of Applied Setting (including Time), Human (as Agent), Tool and Environment are well placed to be the necessary basics to any holistic human technological activity. How and why these elements work together, their schema, will be referred to in this paper as the 'Basic Principles'. The paper presents the thesis that Technology cannot be reduced to less than these general elements and as such, Technology is their product. We therefore may need to understand and teach these elements and their relations to each other explicitly, in ways that reveal the utility of such understanding when making technical choices and design decisions for all the genres of technology and at all their scales of application and discovery. The case is made for technology to not merely be a 'know how' learning experience, but necessarily also a holistic 'know why' learning experience essential for developing and transferring technological knowledge. (shrink)
This article aims at making a case for the role of seduction in existential education, that is, education that focuses on the pupil’s life choices. First, the article attempts to show that the relationship between the teacher and the pupil can be understood as a form of seduction. Secondly, the article examines how such a relationship functions in practice. Thirdly, the article warns against dangerous aspects related to seduction, and lastly, the article offers five conditions for how seduction (...) can be used in a justifiable manner in existential education. (shrink)
Educational reforms in developed countries are not successful, because we do not have a clear understanding of what is education. The essence of education is the limits of its improvement. Education is understood as the artificial extension of human ability to learn, as the product of learner's own efforts, and finally, as a series of historic forms of labor arrangements.
In this article I argue that Outcomes-basedEducation is conceptually trapped in aninstrumentally justifiable view of education. Icontend that the notion of Outcomes-basedEducation is incommensurable with anon-instrumental justification of educationview as explained by RS Peters (1998). Theprocess of specifying outcomes in educationaldiscourse lends itself to manipulation andcontrol and thereby makes the idea ofOutcomes-based Education educationallyimpoverished. In this article an argument ismade for education through rational reflectionand imagination which can complement anOutcomes-based Education system for the reasonthat it finds (...) expression in a non-instrumentaljustifiable view of education. (shrink)
This paper develops an interpretation and analysis of the arguments for public education which open Book VIII of Aristotle's Politics , drawing on both the wider Aristotelian corpus and on examination of continuities with Plato's Laws . Part III : Sections VIII-XI examine the two arguments which Aristotle adduces in support of the claim that education should be provided through a public system. The first of these arguments concerns the need to unify society through education for friendship (...) and the sharing of a common end. Several versions of his second argument are considered, and the most promising of them is elaborated in connection with an examination of the links between instruction and legislation in the Laws . This yields what is probably the most compelling argument there is for the claim that public supervision of education is a necessary condition for a just society. (shrink)
Over the past decade, teaching and learning in virtual worlds has been at the forefront of many higher education institutions around the world. The DEHub Virtual Worlds Working Group (VWWG) consisting of Australian and New Zealand higher education academics was formed in 2009. These educators are investigating the role that virtual worlds play in the future of education and actively changing the direction of their own teaching practice and curricula. 47 academics reporting on 28 Australian higher (...) class='Hi'>education institutions present an overview of how they have changed directions through the effective use of virtual worlds for diverse teaching and learning activities such as business scenarios and virtual excursions, role-play simulations, experimentation and language development. The case studies offer insights into the ways in which institutions are continuing to change directions in their teaching to meet changing demands for innovative teaching, learning and research in virtual worlds. This paper highlights the ways in which the authors are using virtual worlds to create opportunities for rich, immersive and authentic activities that would be difficult or not possible to achieve through more traditional approaches. (shrink)
This article addresses the question how educational theory can overcome the assumptions of the tradition of the philosophy of consciousness, a tradition which can be seen as the foundation of the modern project of education. While twentieth century philosophy has seen several attempts to make a shift from consciousness to intersubjectivity (Dewey, Wittgenstein, Habermas) it is argued that this shift still remains within the humanistic tradition of modern thought in that it still tries to define, still tries to develop (...) a theory about the human subject. Foucault's thesis of the end of man is interpreted as an attempt to move beyond humanism, an attempt motivated by a sincere concern for the humanity of the subject. Starting from the question as to who comes after the subject, several answers to this question, which all share an interest in the question as to where the subject comes into presence, are discussed (referring to the writings of Tschumi, Arendt and Levinas). In the concluding section it is argued that one way to move beyond the humanistic tradition of modern thought is to conceive of the subject in terms of responsibility and ethics (Levinas) and to conceive of the very task of theory in terms of justice, and not in terms of truth. This, so it is argued, should be the final concern for educational theory and curriculum theory. (shrink)
This paper is a philosophical analysis ofHeidegger and Nietzsche's approach tometaphysics and the associated problem ofnihilism. Heidegger sums up the history ofWestern metaphysics in a way which challengescommon sense approaches to values education.Through close attention to language, Heideggerargues that Nietzsche inverts thePlatonic-Christian tradition but retains theanthropocentric imposition of âvaluesâ. Ihave used Nietzsche's theory to suggest aslightly different definition of metaphysicsand nihilism which draws attention to theontological parameters of human truths as astruggle between competing sets of conflictingor contradictory values (perspectives) (...) thatopens space for rethinking and re-educatinghuman possibilities. How this openness willshow up in educational theory and practice isonly beginning to be evoked. The twophilosophers indicate an approach to issues ofmorality, decision making and knowledgeproduction which may surprise and disconcerttraditional views. As the forefathers ofpost-structuralist thinking, Nietzsche andHeidegger offer a critique of Humanism whileretaining the Renaissance tradition ofpositioning education as the well spring ofvalues in society. It is through the generationof new knowledges, the development of critiqueand the nurturing of character that societyreformulates itself in relation to the earth.The ethical evaluation of these new forms ofknowledge is crucial to the creative and caringregeneration of the human environment, asopposed to the corrosive adoption ofconsumerism and usury. (shrink)
Working from a concept of politics of education that encompasses legal,ethical and pedagogical levels of analysis, this paper presents theresults of a field work project on the meaning and current state of theright to education with a larger philosophical discourse. Talk ofeducation as a human right presupposes taking part in a horizon ofinterpretation. Projected is a view of person as a subject, i.e., assomeone not only placed in a specific context, but also as someone whois capable of distancing (...) him/herself from local and culturalconditioning. (shrink)
The article discusses two basic paradigms of western educational theory, namely the concept of “influence” and the concept of “development”. Two historical contextes are analyzed, John Locke's theory of human learning and Jean-Jacques Rousseau's theory of natural development. Both theories are rejected in favour of a position beyond “influence” and “development”. This position of a theory of education ( Erziehung ) is marked with the term “moral communication”.
The purpose of this article is to show the waysin which education can be centered on the bodyas the subject of experience, rather thanas an object or an absent entity. Pedagogicalpractices that emphasize a conscious awarenessof embodiment provide opportunities forstudents to learn in a holistic manner. Sincethe body is the way in which we experience theworld, mediating all processes of learning, allexperience is therefore embodied (Levin, 1985). Recognizing the body as subject of being ratherthan as object acknowledges that beneath (...) theattempts to separate aspects of our being,which often occurs in educational settings,there exists an underlying, unified being thatis not subject to separation (Welton, 1998). (shrink)
Citizenship education is a complex matter, and not least the place of civic virtues in it. This is illustrated by a consideration of the civic virtue of gratitude. Two conceptions of gratitude are explored. Gratitude seen as a debt is examined and Kantâs exposition of it, including his objections to a personâs getting himself into the position where he has to show gratitude as a beneficiary, is explored. An alternative conception of gratitude as recognition is developed. This, it is (...) claimed, has more relevance to the kind of gratitude it would be appropriate for citizens of a democratic state to feel. The educational implications of these views are indicated. (shrink)
The present essay discusses the value of citizenship as shared fate in sites of ethnic conflict and analyzes its implications for citizenship education in light of three issues: first, the requirements of affective relationality in the notion of citizenship-as-shared fate; second, the tensions between the values of human rights and shared fate in sites of ethnic conflict; and third, the ways in which citizenship education might overcome these tensions without falling into the trap of psychologization and instrumentalization, but (...) rather focusing on providing opportunities for social and school practices that manifest shared fate and compassion in critical ways. It is argued that what teachers and schools should try to do is to make practices of shared fate and compassion possible through creating conditions for children and young people to experience what it means to enact such practices in sites of ethnic conflict. It is also suggested that teachers and schools in sites of ethnic conflict cannot produce ‘new’ citizens on the basis of any values, no matter how ‘noble’ these values may be. The most that can be done is to help children and young people to critically reflect upon the conditions under which people in sites of ethnic conflict can act on the basis of shared fate and compassion and provide support so that these possibilities can become realistic. (shrink)
This paper offers a critique of the “democratic state of education” proposed by Amy Gutmann in her influential book Democratic Education. In the democratic state of education, educational authority is shared among the state, parents and educational professionals; and educational objectives are geared toward equipping future citizens to participate in what Gutmann calls “conscious social reproduction”—the collective shaping of the future of society through democratic deliberation. Although I agree with some of Gutmann’s broad recommendations for civic (...) class='Hi'>education, I have misgivings about the centrality that she gives to conscious social reproduction in her theory of education. I argue that in focusing so intently on the facilitation of conscious social reproduction, Gutmann’s theory makes insufficient room for the basic interests of individual children, and in particular, their prospective interest in autonomy. Gutmann’s considered position on sex education policy—specifically, her willingness to allow local communities to deny their children access to sex education—exemplifies the shortcomings of her theory. Ultimately, her democratic state of education fails to acknowledge the fundamental moral importance of individual flourishing, and the contribution that education can and should make to it. (shrink)
The legacy of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research has been a powerful force for critically understanding social reality. Erich Fromm was one of the early and best known members of the Institute. Fromm emphasised the centrality of culture and interpersonal relations in the contruction of the psyche. The unconscious was not only the location for buried repressed matter but also for the imaginative potential of the human person. He is a forgotten and neglected contributor to the story of the (...) Institute having been written out of this history. This retrospective of his ideas explores his work in the light of the recent work of Jürgen Habermas who is also an active but less controversial engager with the psychoanalytic tradition. The implications for adult education will be addressed. The paper outlines Fromm’s radical reinterpretation of psychoanalysis emphasising the importance of social existence as distinct from the impact of instincts; key concepts of the market, commodity fetishism and automaton conformity; The implications for adult education in the tradition of radical (Freire) and transformative learning theory (Mezirow) and addressed and make connections between Habermas and Fromm that further the project of critical theory. Both attempted in different times to identify and realise the potential of (though neither used the term) of lifelong learning as part of the process of bringing about a more just and caring society and a shared attention to the importance of having free conversations about how the emancipated life might be created and sustained. (shrink)
This article analyzes the evolution of Philosophy of Educationin Spain and its situation at the dawn of the 21st century. Spain'speculiar socio-historical circumstances have largely conditioned thedirection this discipline has taken over the last several decades. So,although during a period there was some approximation towards themethods of analytic philosophy, Philosophy of Education has never fullyrelinquished its normative vocation. To do so would have meant spurningthe hopes and fears that had filled Spanish society by the mid 1970supon the reinstatement of (...) civil liberties and democracy. Indeed,attention to the circumstances and that normative orientation have foundtheir best fit in a practical Aristotelian-based philosophy meant toendow Philosophy of Education with a normative character that do notshun the educator's need for reflection, practical decision-making, andresponsibility. Since the 1990s, new directions have been marked by thechallenge of postmodernism, inasmuch as it affects not only thetechnological positivist model but also the reflective educator's modelof a practical Philosophy of Education. The new directions spread out invarious ways, yet they all fall into a common denominator of narrativetrends. The problem posed by these new languages lies in the extent towhich they are consistent with pedagogic intent. In turn, the answerstake on different profiles depending on whether the stance leans moretowards the philosophical or the pedagogical point of view withinPhilosophy of Education. The complementary nature of both perspectivescharacterizes the current state of the field in Spain. (shrink)
The idea that professional practices such as education should be based upon or at least be informed by evidence continues to capture the imagination of many politicians, policy makers, practitioners and researchers. There is growing evidence of the influence of this line of thought. At the same time there is a growing body of work that has raised fundamental questions about the feasibility of the idea of evidence-based or evidence-informed practice. In this paper I make a further contribution to (...) this discussion through an analysis of a number of assumptions that inform the discussion. I focus on the epistemological, ontological and praxeological dimensions of the discussion and in each domain identify a deficit. In the epistemological domain there is a knowledge deficit, in the ontological domain an effectiveness or efficacy deficit and in the practice domain an application deficit. Taken together these deficits not only raise some important questions about the very idea of evidence-based practice but also highlight the role of normativity, power and values. Against this background I outline the case for the idea of value-based education as an alternative for evidence-based education. As I am generally concerned about the expectations policy makers hold about what evidence can and should achieve in professional practices such as education, my contribution is primarily meant to provide educators and other professionals with arguments that can help them to resist unwarranted expectations about the role of evidence in their practices and even more so of unwarranted interventions in their practices. (shrink)
Although the idea of nature has allbut disappeared from recent discussion ofeducation, it remains highly relevant to thephilosophy and practice of education, sincetacit notions of human nature and whatconstitutes underlying reality â the `natural'order of things â necessarily orientateseducation in fundamental ways. It is arguedthat underlying our various senses of nature isthe idea of nature as the `self-arising' whoseintrinsic integrity, mystery and valueimplicitly condition our understanding ofourselves and of the reality in which we live.I argue that the acknowledgement of (...) nature soconceived opens up a perspective on educationthat requires us to review currently dominanttechnological notions of truth and knowledge,and also of what should characterize theprocess of education, reasserting the properplace of more intuitive, local and dialogicalknowledge and relationships. (shrink)
What kind of citizenship education, if any, should schools in liberal societies promote? And what ends is such education supposed to serve? Over the last decades a respectable body of literature has emerged to address these and related issues. In this state of the debate analysis we examine a sample of journal articles dealing with these very issues spanning a twenty-year period with the aim to analyse debate patterns and developments in the research field. We first carry out (...) a qualitative analysis where we design a two-dimensional theoretical framework in order to systematise the various liberal debate positions, and make us able to study their justifications, internal tensions and engagements with other positions. In the ensuing quantitative leg of the study we carry out a quantitative bibliometric analysis where we weigh the importance of specific scholars. We finally discuss possible merits and flaws in the research field, as evidenced in and by the analysis. (shrink)
It is a rather safe statement to claim that the social dimensions of the scientific process are accepted in a fair share of studies in the philosophy of science. It is a somewhat safe statement to claim that the social dimensions are now seen as an essential element in the understanding of what human cognition is and how it functions. But it would be a rather unsafe statement to claim that the social is fully accepted in the philosophy of mathematics. (...) And we are not quite sure what kind of statement it is to claim that the social dimensions in theories of mathematics education are becoming more prominent, compared to the psychological dimensions. In our contribution we will focus, after a brief presentation of the above claims, on this particular domain to understand the successes and failures of the development of theories of mathematics education that focus on the social and not primarily on the psychological. (shrink)
The concept of lifelong education received wide criticism and rejection in many educational circles in the 1970s. Recent developments in educational research and the increasing influence of postmodernist thought, the paper argues, are major factors in the return to favour of lifelong education. While a postmodern society is one characterised more by conflict than by consensus, the paper suggests that consensus on the importance of lifelong education might be one precondition for such a society.
The computer engineers who refer to the education of computers do not have a definite idea of education and do not bother to justify the fuzzy ones to which they allude. Hence, they logically cannot specify the features a computer must have in order to be educable. This paper puts forth a non-standard, but not arbitrary, concept of education that determines such traits. The proposed concept is derived from the idea of education embedded in modern standard-English (...) discourse. Because the standard concept entails that an educable entity must be capable of consciousness and voluntary action, it cannot apply to computers. If, therefore, one is to have an idea of educable computers, one must drop the feature of consciousness and omit or modify that of voluntariness. The advanced concept leaves out consciousness, alters the ordinary notion of voluntariness, but keeps in tact the other criteria of the standard idea. Thereby, it provides continuity between those who talk about education in modern ordinary English and those who talk about it in the world of artificial intelligence. (shrink)
Informal home education occurs without much that is generally considered essential for formal education—including curriculum, learning plans, assessments, age related targets or planned and deliberate teaching. Our research into families conducting this kind of education enables us to consider learning away from such imposed structures and to explore how children go about learning for themselves within the context of their own socio-cultural setting. In this paper we consider what and how children learn when no educational agenda is (...) arranged for them and we link this manner of learning to the Deweyan ideas of learning as transactional and learning-in-context. We also use our empirical evidence to explore the notion of ZPD with regard to informal learning and to consider how children, without specific guidance, go about charting a course of learning through the ZPD. We consider the quality of informal learning particularly with regard to the educational aim of developing reflective and critical thinking, showing how these are integral to informal learning. We suggest that a much wider conception of what learning is and how it happens is needed, away from the confines of formal educational structures. (shrink)
This article sets forward a new concept of reflection, to be contrasted with more usual reading of the concept for which we use the term `reflectivity'. The contrast is related to a distinction between normalizing education and counter-education. We claim that within the framework of normalizing education there is no room for reflection, but only for reflectivity. In contrast to reflectivity, reflection manifests a struggle of the subject against the effects of power which govern the constitution of (...) her conceptual apparatus, her knowledge, her consciousness and her limitations and possibilities for successful functioning. Reflectivity re-presents the hegemonic realm of self-evidence and the productive violence of social and cultural order. Reflection, by contrast, aims to challenge the supposedly self-evident and the present order of things. Reflection aims at transcendence and represents a moral commitment in respect of the otherness of the Other, which power relations in every realm of self-evidence oblige us to neglect, to destroy or consume. Transcendence is a concrete utopia, and so is the subject in her nonrepressive communication with the Other: they are part and parcel of our present possibilities, sometimes in microscopic arenas, struggled for, and from time to time even realized. (shrink)
Plato noticed a sizeable problem apropos of establishing his republic—that there was always a ready pool of zealous potential rulers, lying in wait for a suitable opportunity to rule on their own tyrannical terms. He also recognized that those persons best suited to rule, those persons with foursquare and unimpeachable virtue, would be least motivated to govern. Ruling a polis meant that those persons, fully educated and in complete realization that the most complete happiness comprises solitary study of things unchanging, (...) would have to compromise their happiness for the wellbeing of their polis and of the people in it. Plato’s solution, in effect that the aristoi would merely recognize their duty to sacrifice personal happiness for the happiness of the polis, has perplexed and continues today to perplex scholars. Like Plato, Jefferson recognized that there was always a pool of eager sharks, ready to govern. His republicanism, comprising a ward system and general education, was founded on the fullest participation of its citizenry, suitably educated and a governing aristoi. The true aristoi, the “natural aristoi”, are the intelligent and virtuous and that government is best which allows for a “pure selection” of the natural aristoi into the governing offices. Nonetheless, as Jefferson’s own life shows, non-parochial governing meant being rent from domestic tranquility, being forced to leave behind one’s personal affairs to decay, and being tossed willy-nilly into the coliseum of nonstop political wrangling. Why would anyone, particularly one wanting to be happy, wish to govern? Thus, Jefferson faced the same problem that Plato faced. How could a state be structured so that the wisest and most virtuous would be motivated to rule? In this paper, I argue that Jefferson, in full recognition of the problem of encouraging the most intelligent and virtuous to govern, the problem of public service, offers a solution that is remarkably Platonic. (shrink)
Starting from a suggestion of Stephen Toulmin and through an interpretation of the criticism to which Neurath, one of the founders of the Vienna Circle, submits Descartes’ views on science, the paper attempts to outline a pattern of modernity opposed to the Cartesian one, that has been obtaining over the last four centuries. In particular, it is argued that a new alliance has to be established between science and education, overcoming Descartes’ banishment against education. In a Neurathian perspective (...)education is a key-moment of the scientific enterprise without which science itself is in danger of going astray and no scientific outlook is promoted in the society at large. Such an anti-Cartesian attitude is a leitmotiv of the whole Neurath’s production and characterizes his fundamental approach to the sense of modernity. For this reasons, despite all its shortcomings, Neurath’s proposal represents a very promising option for a new agenda of the modernity away from Descartes’ spell. By elaborating on Neurath’s (and Dewey’s) insights, the paper puts forward the idea that philosophy of science (such as it was originated by neopositivism in its Reichenbachian version) should give way to an educational philosophy of science which could allow us “to bring the genuine modern into existence”. (shrink)
The different sorts of virtuous people who display various virtues to a remarkable degree have brought the issue of individualisation of moral character to the forefront. It signals a more personal dimension of character development which is notoriously ignored in the current discourse on character education. The case is made that since in practice, the individualisation of moral character must, by necessity, advance side by side with the cultivation of virtues, a full account of character education needs to (...) give consideration to both concerns. After analysing the specific ways which temperament, social roles, and occupations respectively contribute to the individualisation of moral character, some practical implications are drawn to shed new light on the common practice of the inculcation of virtues. Firstly, since the varieties of moral personality is the norm, it is appropriate to encourage the educated to become virtuous people of different sorts. Secondly, given the influence that temperament may exert on virtue, having good knowledge of each child’s temperament, identifying the specific difficulties possibly confronting him/her accordingly, and then providing more opportunities to strengthen the cultivation of the related virtues are crucial. Thirdly, since children with different temperaments are inclined to identify with different sorts of moral exemplars, it is valuable to present them a great variety of moral models, from which they can choose the kind of virtuous people they would want to emulate. Lastly, since assuming different occupations and social roles is liable to result in various moral characters, character formation cannot be confined to the family or school. Among others, workplaces and communities are also important variables. (shrink)
What makes a democratic school democratic? This question is answered using the example of the Swiss education system; the focus, however, is not on the usual pedagogic perspective of teaching democracy, but on the democratic organization of the education system. The discussion concentrates on two basic requirements for a democratic education organization: on the one hand, education for all under the equal rights premise calls for the definition of an educational minimum for all students. At the (...) same time, defining this minimum presupposes selection among the students. For part of the students are -- through the use of public funds -- being educated beyond the minimum; a situation which needs to be democratically legitimized. The selection is based on academic performance; as yet, a valuable alternative to this type of selection does not exist. On the other hand, it is essential in a democratic education organization that the authorities put in charge of certain responsibilities are democratically legitimized and controlled. The same applies to newly created authorities, such as principalships or autonomous schools, the introduction of which has been demanded repeatedly for some time now. (shrink)
It is argued that children need to learn about civic issues intheir education because certain virtues are required for a decently organisedsociety. It is also argued that the school has wide obligations to educate theyoung in civics because it is in their best interests. This is not seen asan encroachment on the privacy of the individual. It is explained that theschool has an obligation to impart knowledge to the young.