ACKNOWLEDGMENTS. Among Those Who helped greatly in the initial stages of this project by making constructive suggestions on my first "caring" papers are Nick Burbules, William Doll, Bruce Fuller, Brian Hill, William Pinar, Mary Anne ...
Nel Noddings, one of the central figures in the contemporary discussion of ethics and moral education, argues that caring--a way of life learned at home--can be extended into a theory that guides social policy. Tackling issues such as capital punishment, drug treatment, homelessness, mental illness, and abortion, Noddings inverts traditional philosophical priorities to show how an ethic of care can have profound and compelling implications for social and political thought. Instead of beginning with an ideal state and then describing a (...) role for home and family, this book starts with an ideal home and asks how what is learned there may be extended to the larger social domain. Noddings examines the tension between freedom and equality that characterized liberal thought in the twentieth century and finds that--for all its strengths--liberalism is still inadequate as social policy. She suggests instead that an attitude of attentive love in the home induces a corresponding responsiveness that can serve as a foundation for social policy. With her characteristic sensitivity to the individual and to the vulnerable in society, the author concludes that any corrective practice that does more harm than the behavior it is aimed at correcting should be abandoned. This suggests an end to the disastrous war on drugs. In addition, Noddings states that the caring professions that deal with the homeless should be guided by flexible policies that allow practitioners to respond adequately to the needs of very different clients. She recommends that the school curriculum should include serious preparation for home life as well as for professional and civic life. Emphasizing the importance of improving life in everyday homes and the possible role social policy might play in this improvement, _Starting at Home_ highlights the inextricable link between the development of care in individual lives and any discussion of moral life and social policy. (shrink)
Our nation’s schools have always been contested turf but perhaps never more so than in today’s volatile environment. Educational policy and educational values have never been more controversial, and the schools themselves are under attack from many different directions.The role of philosophy of education in such an environment is not to dictate answers. Rather, it must foster understanding of the philosophical issues underlying contemporary debates. In this survey, Nel Noddings provides the essential background necessary for a more sophisticated and nuanced (...) comprehension of the issues. Philosophy of Education is designed for general students of education who need to know something about philosophical thought and its exercise in teaching, learning, research, and educational policy. It assumes no previous training in philosophy. Ranging broadly from the great historical figures through John Dewey to contemporary representatives of both analytic and Continental traditions, it is always fair-minded, generous, and undogmatic. Attractive features are the author’s nondoctrinaire feminism, her commitment to the empowerment of students, and her coverage of the most recent trends in educational thought.This is an essential book not just for teachers and for future teachers but for anyone needing a survey of contemporary trends in the philosophy of education. (shrink)
With numerous examples to supplement her rich theoretical discussion, Nel Noddings builds a compelling philosophical argument for an ethics based on natural caring, as in the care of a mother for her child. In _Caring_—now updated with a new preface and afterword reflecting on the ongoing relevance of the subject matter—the author provides a wide-ranging consideration of whether organizations, which operate at a remove from the caring relationship, can truly be called ethical. She discusses the extent to which we may (...) truly care for plants, animals, or ideas. Finally, she proposes a realignment of education to encourage and reward not just rationality and trained intelligence, but also enhanced sensitivity in moral matters. (shrink)
In this provocative new book, renowned educator and philosopher Nel Noddings extends her influential work on the ethics of care toward a compelling objective—global peace and justice. She asks: If we celebrate the success of women becoming more like men in professional life, should we not simultaneously hope that men become more like women—in caring for others, rejecting violence, and valuing the work of caring both publicly and personally? Drawing on current work on evolution, and bringing concrete examples from women’s (...) lived experience to make a strong case for her position, Noddings answers this question by locating one source of morality in maternal instinct. She traces the development of the maternal instinct to natural caring and ethical caring, offering a preliminary sketch of what a care-driven concept of justice might look like. Finally, to advance the cause of caring, peace, and women’s advancement, Noddings urges women to abandon institutional, patriarchal religion and to seek their own paths to spirituality. (shrink)
Contributors to this volume demonstrate how the ethics of care factors into a variety of social policies and institutions, and can indeed be useful in thinking about a number of different social problems. Divided into two sections, the first looks at care as a model for an evaluative framework that rethinks social institutions, liberal society, and citizenship at a basic conceptual level. The second explores care values in the context of specific social practices or settings, as a framework that should (...) guide thinking. (shrink)
Care theory is used to describe an approach to global ethics and moral education. After a brief introduction to care ethics, the theory is applied to global ethics. The paper concludes with a discussion of moral education for personal, political, and global domains.
Virginia Held, best known for her landmark book Rights and Goods, has made an indelible mark on the fields of ethics, feminist philosophy, and social and political thought. Her impact on a generation of feminist thinkers is unrivaled and she has been at the forfront of discussions about the way in which an ethic of care can affect social and political matters. These new essays by leading contemporary philosophers range over all of these areas. While each stands alone, the essays (...) together demonstrate the lasting value of Held's work to the field. Includes an afterword by Held. (shrink)
Drawing on their extensive research, Nichols and Berliner document and categorize the ways that high-stakes testing threatens the purposes and ideals of the American education system. For more than a decade, the debate over high-stakes testing has dominated the field of education. This passionate and provocative book provides a fresh perspective on the issue and powerful ammunition for opponents of high-stakes tests. Their analysis is grounded in the application of Campbell’s Law, which posits that the greater the social consequences associated (...) with a quantitative indicator, the more likely it is that the indicator itself will become corrupted—and the more likely it is that the use of the indicator will corrupt the social processes it was intended to monitor. Nichols and Berliner illustrate both aspects of this “corruption,” showing how the pressures of high-stakes testing erode the validity of test scores and distort the integrity of the education system. Their analysis provides a coherent and comprehensive intellectual framework for the wide-ranging arguments against high-stakes testing, while putting a compelling human face on the data marshalled in support of those arguments. (shrink)
Care theory offers a way to overcome a weaknessof liberalism – its reluctance to intervene inthe private lives of adults. In caring for thehomeless, we must sometimes use a limited formof coercion, but our intervention is alwaysinteractive, and the process of finding asolution is one of negotiation between theneeds expressed by the homeless and the needswe infer for them.
Abstract Using a feminist perspective of caring, this paper moves from an examination of differences between masculine and feminine views on good and evil to argue that analysis and articulation of the feminine view may contribute significantly to an understanding of moral issues and a reformulation of educational practices.
My response addresses a few technical problems raised by Card-the function of chains in extending caring, a constructivist interpretation of formal relations, a variation of reciprocity-and then concentrates on the major charges of unidirectionality and continued exploitation of women. Caring is not construed as an individual virtue that makes continuous demands on one party, but as a relational attribute. An ethic of caring is liberational rather than exploitative because the expectation is that all people, not just women, should act as (...) carers. (shrink)
In today's high schools, education is often reduced to a means of achieving financial security, leading to an overemphasis on quantifiable measures of performance. This approach encourages academically talented students to focus on test scores and rankings rather than intellectual enrichment, and discourages students with non-academic talents from pursuing them. A Richer, Brighter Vision for American High Schools advocates instead a unifying educational aim of producing better adults, which would encompass all aspects of students' lives: intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual, social, (...) vocational, aesthetic, and civic. Nel Noddings offers suggestions to improve high schools by increasing collegiality among students and faculty, enriching curricula with interdisciplinary themes, renewing vocational education programs, addressing parenting and homemaking, and professionalizing the teaching force. This thought-provoking book will act as an important guide for teachers, teacher educators, administrators, and policy makers. (shrink)
Ethics has been discussed largely in the language of the father, Nel Noddings believes: in principles and propostions, in terms such as _justification,_ _fairness,_ and _equity._ The mother's voice has been silent. The view of ethics Noddings offers in this book is a feminine view. "This does not imply," she writes, "that all women will accept it or that most men will reject it; indeed there is no reason why men should not embrace it. It is feminine in the deep (...) classical sense—rooted in receptivity, relatedness, and responsiveness. It does not imply either that logic is to be discarded or that logic is alien to women. It represents an aternative to present views, one that begins with the moral attitude or longing for goodness and not with moral reasoning." What is at the basis of moral action? An altruism acquired by the application of rule and principle? Or, as Noddings asserts, caring and the memory of being cared for? With numerous examples to supplement her rich theoretical discussion, Noddings builds a compelling philosophical argument for an ethics based on natural caring, as in the care of a mother for her child. The ethical behavior that grows out of natural caring has at its core as care-filled receptivity to those involved in any moral situation, and leaves behind the rigidity of rule and principle to focus on what is particular and unique in human relations. "The hand that steadied us as we learned to ride our first bicycle did not provide propositional knowledge, but it guided and supported us all the same, and we finished up 'knowing how.'" Noddings's discussion is far-ranging, as she considers whether organizations, which operate at a remove from the caring relationship, can truly be called ethical. She discusses the extent to which we may truly care for plants, animals, or ideas. Finally, she proposes a realignment of education to encourage and reward not just rationality and trained intelligence, but also enhanced sensitivity in moral matters. (shrink)
What is at the basis of moral action? An altruism acquired by the application of rule and principle? Or, as Noddings asserts, caring and the memory of being cared for? With numerous examples to supplement her rich theoretical discussion, Noddings builds a compelling philosophical argument for an ethics based on natural caring, as in the care of a mother for her child. The ethical behavior that grows out of natural caring, and has as its core care-filled receptivity to those involved (...) in any moral situation, leaves behind the rigidity of rule and principle to focus on what is particular and unique in human relations. Noddings's discussion is wide-ranging, as she considers whether organizations, which operate at a remove from the caring relationship, can truly be called ethical. She discusses the extent to which we may truly care for plants, animals, or ideas. Finally, she proposes a realignment of education to encourage and reward not just rationality and trained intelligence, but also enhanced sensitivity in moral matters. (shrink)
When parents are asked what they want for their children, they usually answer that they want their children to be happy. Why, then, is happiness rarely mentioned as an aim of education? This book explores what we might teach if we were to take happiness seriously as an aim of education. It asks, first, what it means to be happy and, second, how we can help children to understand what happiness is. It notes that, to be truly happy, we have (...) to develop a capacity for unhappiness and a willingness to alleviate the suffering of others. Criticizing the present almost exclusive emphasis on economic well-being and pleasure, it discusses the contributions of making a home, parenting, cherishing a place, development of character, interpersonal growth, finding work that one loves, and participating in a democratic way of life. Finally, it explores ways in which to make schools and classrooms happy places. (shrink)