Teaching in the light of Stanley Cavell's moral perfectionism

Ethics and Education 9 (2):176-186 (2014)

Abstract
Drawing from Stanley Cavell's distinct understanding of skepticism, this paper first considers current and incessant obsession with notions of or related to ‘educational standards,’ ‘school effectiveness and improvement,’ ‘evidence-based education,’ ‘performance indicators’ and ‘performativity’ in various educational policies and discourses as consequences resulting from our very human desire to overcome or solve skepticism. Insidiously, this has led to the creation of a strict and distinct conception of what a good teacher should be. Ironically, this human desire to overcome skepticism, which led to this particular good teacher model, has ‘dehumanized’ the teacher. In this light, this paper further proposes Cavell's distinction between perfectionism and perfectability as a possible alternative response to this austere ‘good teacher model’ which has dominated discourses on the teaching profession. His discussion on skepticism and moral perfectionism hopefully leads to a more holistic and democratic concep..
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DOI 10.1080/17449642.2014.917234
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Must We Mean What We Say?Stanley Cavell - 1958 - In V. C. Chappell (ed.), Inquiry. New York: Dover Publications. pp. 172 – 212.

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