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)
Just as Dewey argued during the industrial revolution, from the 1890s–1930s, and Martin argued in the 1960s–1990s with our “second wave” working revolution : today’s times are out of joint, potentially dangerous conflicts exist, and teachers have some responsibility in making things right. We are in another social revolution, as work is changing significantly again, due to advances in technology. Let’s call these current changes in work the technology revolution. Again, we need to rethink our school structures, curriculum, and pedagogy. (...) In an effort to contribute to that process, I direct our attention to the need to redefine work, and re/examine the connections between work and education in this paper. (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.
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.