Educational Theory 59 (2):167-179 (2009)
In this essay, Ryan Bevan explores the pedagogical implications of taking virtue epistemology as the philosophical foundation of educational theory rather than following the instrumentalist approach that is currently dominant. According to Bevan, the critical thinking strategies characteristic of instrumentalism generally work to further the vocationalization of educational discourse as well as the cultivation of unreflective moral agents. He contends that critical thinking should be expanded beyond its rationalist criteria to focus on the process of inquiry. Such a virtue epistemology approach, according to Bevan, has the potential to uncover and change fundamental misconceptions that pervade current theoretical assumptions by encouraging learners to engage in a more inclusive inquiry that draws out alternative perspectives. Bevan concludes that citizenship education in particular can benefit greatly from this more expansive theory with concrete pedagogical implications
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