Journal of Philosophy of Education 40 (3):329-344 (2006)

Traditional education draws on a received vision of the good life to guide its educational efforts. But rich traditions have multiple visions of the good life. Educators who aspire to openness as well as rootedness seek canonical stories that raise for discussion these multiple visions. Such discussions negotiate a relationship with outside, majority culture, but also foster rich internal discussion on the meaning of life. They allow for the growth of tradition in the light of changing reality, as well as its preservation. As an illustration, the paper considers an ancient Jewish religious tale as a means of ‘pulling students up short’ and thereby making actual and vivid within the curriculum issues concerning the good life and the nature of tolerance. The discussion raises questions concerning communitarianism, liberalism and religious education, as well as considering possibilities of autonomy in conditions of pluralism.
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DOI 10.1111/jope.2006.40.issue-3
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