This article explores the centralpragmatist and feminist philosophical assumption thatknowers can not be separated from what is known, thatthere is a dialectical relationship between socialbeings and ideas that is dynamic, flexible, andreciprocal. The author seeks a closer examination ofconstructive thinking in relation to the practice ofthinking constructively within social communities. She discusses social communities that constructknowledge as radical democratic communitiesalways-in-the-making, and the skills of communicatingand relating which help knowers be able to activelyparticipate in the construction of knowledge. Giventhe fallibility of (...) the pluralistic subjects, she showsthe importance of addressing cultural influences andpolitical power in theories about thinking. Sheargues for the value of embracing pluralistic anddemocratic commitments on epistemological grounds aswell as moral grounds. (shrink)
Thayer-Bacon tells her story in a conversational tone that traces her personal and professional roots as she describes various chapters of her life: first as a philosopher, how she became involved in education, and then how that involvement became a career as a philosopher of education, in a large teacher education program, and now at a research institution. She sketches her philosophical contributions, as a pragmatist, feminist, postmodernist, and cultural studies scholar, to philosophy, philosophy of education, and education.
Amy Gutmann and Liberal, Deliberative Democracy: Implications for Schools.Barbara J. Thayer-Bacon - 2018 - In Ann Chinnery, Nuraan Davids, Naomi Hodgson, Kai Horsthemke, Viktor Johansson, Dirk Willem Postma, Claudia W. Ruitenberg, Paul Smeyers, Christiane Thompson, Joris Vlieghe, Hanan Alexander, Joop Berding, Charles Bingham, Michael Bonnett, David Bridges, Malte Brinkmann, Brian A. Brown, Carsten Bünger, Nicholas C. Burbules, Rita Casale, M. Victoria Costa, Brian Coyne, Renato Huarte Cuéllar, Stefaan E. Cuypers, Johan Dahlbeck, Suzanne de Castell, Doret de Ruyter, Samantha Deane, Sarah J. DesRoches, Eduardo Duarte, Denise Egéa, Penny Enslin, Oren Ergas, Lynn Fendler, Sheron Fraser-Burgess, Norm Friesen, Amanda Fulford, Heather Greenhalgh-Spencer, Stefan Herbrechter, Chris Higgins, Pádraig Hogan, Katariina Holma, Liz Jackson, Ronald B. Jacobson, Jennifer Jenson, Kerstin Jergus, Clarence W. Joldersma, Mark E. Jonas, Zdenko Kodelja, Wendy Kohli, Anna Kouppanou, Heikki A. Kovalainen, Lesley Le Grange, David Lewin, Tyson E. Lewis, Gerard Lum, Niclas Månsson, Christopher Martin & Jan Masschelein (eds.), International Handbook of Philosophy of Education. Springer Verlag. pp. 199-209.details
Amy Gutmann is a political philosopher who brings a critical, feminist, and multicultural read to John Dewey’s concept of democratic education. I begin by turning to Gutmann’s Democratic Education to see how she amends and extends Dewey’s concept of democracy in relation to education. I then explore her further development of deliberative democracy as a political theory in Democracy and Deliberation. We learn about her basic principles for democratic education, nonrepression and nondiscrimination, developed in her earlier work and the addition (...) of a third principle, deliberation, in Democracy and Disagreement, as she continues to aim to find ways for basic democratic values of liberty, opportunity, and mutual respect to thrive and for acceptable terms for social cooperation to further develop in a world where people disagree in significant ways. We find that Gutmann relies on a separation between moral ideals and political ideals to maintain the case for the value of deliberative democracy as a political ideal. There are problems such a separation creates from a transactional perspective of democracy-always-in-the-making. We consider if Gutmann’s theory will help us improve conditions for democracy someday, or not. (shrink)
Thayer-Bacon uses this opportunity to further explore Rancière's ideas concerning equality as described in The Ignorant Schoolmaster and their connection to democracy, as he explains in Hatred of Democracy. For Rancière, intelligence and equality are synonymous terms, just as reason and will are synonymous terms. Rancière recommends the only way to really teach a student is by viewing the student as an equal. Thayer-Bacon learned to view students as equals through her experience as a Montessori teacher, and so she brings (...) Montessori into conversation with Rancière to further explore the idea of equality between teachers and students, as well as between citizens in a democracy. There are problems with both Rancière's perspective and Montessori's that feminist theory, in the form of a relational ontology and epistemology, can help us solve by finding our way out of the paradoxes of democracy and on to trusting our students, our future democratic citizens. (shrink)
: My project aims to develop a relational, pluralistic political theory that moves us beyond liberal democracy, and to consider how such a theory translates into our public school settings. In this essay I argue that Dewey offers us possibilities for moving beyond one key assumption of classical liberalism, individualism, with his theory of social transaction. I focus my discussion for this paper on Dewey's renascent liberal democracy. I move from a discussion of Dewey's liberal democratic theory to what a (...) relational, pluralistic democratic theory might look like, with Dewey's help. (shrink)
This issue marks the beginning of a new editor-in-chief for Studies in Philosophy and Education . I am excited to begin my tenure in this role, and to continue developing the long-standing strength and quality of this journal, which enjoys a 54-year history of continual support from editors in the fields of philosophy, philosophy of education, social science, and educational policy, in support of addressing philosophical, theoretical, normative and conceptual problems and issues in educational research, policy and practice.Let me introduce (...) myself a little. I am a “military brat” who grew up on USA military bases around the world during the Cold War, the 1960s civil rights movement, the 2nd wave of the feminist movement, and the Viet Nam War, all of which greatly affected me. I am a former Montessori elementary teacher, mother of four very talented adult children and grandmother of two adorable granddaughters.I am a full professor, who worked in undergraduate teacher education for .. (shrink)
My article aims to develop a relational, pluralistic political theory that moves beyond standard theories of liberal democracy, and to consider how such a theory translates into our public school settings. I use a narrative style argument to share stories that focus on homogeneity and diversity from my visit to a Japanese elementary school, as I consider, drawing on the work of Chantal Mouffe, the important role harmony and disagreement, and a tension between homogeneity and diversity, play in encouraging citizens (...) to contribute to their school and their larger communities in a democracy-always-in-the-making. I argue that there is much we can learn from Japanese educational practices. (shrink)
Democracies Always in the Making develops Barbara Thayer-Bacon’s relational and pluralistic democratic theory, as well as translates that socio-political philosophical theory into educational theory and recommendations for school reform in American public schools. Democracy is a goal, an ideal which we must continually strive for that can guide us in our decision-making, as we continue to live in a world that is unpredictable, flawed, and limited in terms of its resources.
In what follows, I focus on the partiality and fallibility of each of us as individuals, and explore what that means for us as epistemic agents. When we examine the tradition of Western European thought, we note that most epistemological theories assume individuals can know the answer, and are able to critique what is passed down to others as socially constructed knowledge. Many have made the argument that while humanity can be deceived, one individual can know, and therefore teach the (...) others about their deceptions and false beliefs. I argue that because we are embedded and embodied social beings who do not have transcendental, objective, "God's eye views" of the world in which we live, we need each other to help us be potential knowers able to make knowledge claims. Others help us become aware of our own situatedness and help us develop enlarged views. Rather than thinking that individual philosophers, credentialed experts in their field of study, know more and therefore have knowledge they can teach humanity, I argue that all of us, as members of humanity, have much that we can teach each other. My position is that it is only with the help of others that we are able to know anything. (shrink)