Publications

  • Francis Schrag
    Educational Theory 10/2014; 64(5). DOI:10.1111/edth.12079
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Michael Slote's Education and Human Values is a short book focused on an important question: how can we reconcile a commitment to caring for all students with a recognition that some are more creative and intelligent than others? Slote is the most prominent male philosopher outside education to have embraced and defended the "care ethic" developed in the pioneering work of Carol Gilligan and Nel Noddings. He understands Noddings' reluctance to acknowledge differential intellectual endowments, a reluctance he finds also in John Dewey, but he believes that the fact of differential human capabilities must be recognized, and he thinks the care ethic has the resources needed to mitigate any damage which might be thought to accompany that recognition.
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 03/2013; 32(2). DOI:10.1007/s11217-013-9356-5 · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Neuro-education, a new frontier for educational researchers, has its passionate advocates and equally passionate detractors. Some philosophers, including Noel Purdy and Hugh Morrison, Andrew Davis, and Ralph Schumacher, have argued that the entire enterprise is misguided. I evaluate and challenge their arguments. This permits me to articulate my own position: Neuroscience may make impressive contributions to education but, perhaps paradoxically, not by guiding the work of teachers.
    Journal of Philosophy of Education 02/2013; 47(1). DOI:10.1111/1467-9752.12015 · 0.37 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    Cortex 06/2011; 47(9):1066-7. DOI:10.1016/j.cortex.2011.05.023 · 6.04 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In this review essay, Francis Schrag focuses on two recent anthologies dealing completely or in part with the role of neuroscience in learning and education: The Jossey-Bass Reader on the Brain and Learning, edited by Jossey-Bass Publishers, and New Philosophies of Learning, edited by Ruth Cigman and Andrew Davis. Schrag argues that philosophers of education do have a distinctive role in the conversation about neuroscience. He contends that the impact of neuroscience is likely to be substantial, though not in the way its advocates imagine. It has the potential to enhance education by way of interventions that successfully alter the fundamental neural mechanisms of learning, but neuroscience is unlikely to affect classroom teaching substantially.
    Educational Theory 03/2011; 61(2):221 - 237. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.2011.00401.x
  • Educational Studies A Jrnl of the American Educ Studies Assoc 09/2010; 24(2):158-196. DOI:10.1207/s15326993es2402_2
  • Source
    Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The author’s initial argument concludes that parents should refrain from inculcating norms and dispositions suitable for peacetime when ruthless enemies seek to kill or imprison their children. Drawing on recent interpreters of Kant, this paper argues that teaching children to deceive pursuers is consistent with Kantian arguments against lying. This paper modifies the initial argument to take account of the need to also inculcate peacetime norms, even in wartime. It shows that the amended argument has applicability to a variety of real‐world contexts and explores its implications for schools. A final section responds to purported objections.
    Curriculum Studies 04/2010; 42(2):149-163. DOI:10.1080/00220270903579095 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Like John Stuart Mill, I believe in the stimulating effects of grappling with texts designed to shake up one's own intellectual assumptions, and one contemporary author ideally suited to do that for most of us is Charles Murray. Murray is no philosopher but he's a clear, hard-headed thinker who enjoys confronting liberal academics (like myself) with unpleasant truths, as he sees them. Murray has been the bete noire of liberal education scholars since the 1994 publication of The Bell Curve: Intelligence and Class Structure in American Life, co-authored with Richard Herrnstein, which purported to show (inter alia) that compensatory education programs designed to erase the racial gap in achievement were doomed to failure (Herrnstein and Murray 1994). The current book, wisely I think, stays away from the topic of race altogether—but not from intelligence; though Murray, for obvious reasons, prefers the term ''academic ability'' here. At the core of Murray's book is the premise that academic accomplishment depends on academic ability, and that the latter is much less malleable than most of us, whom Murray labels ''educational romantics'' would like to believe. Such ''romantics,'' as Murray notes, predominate not just among liberals but in the Bush administration, and, indeed, among all backers of the No Child Left Behind law. Murray is effective in challenging reasons we might advance to demur from his fun- damental premise. For example, he provides a fair summary of recent intensive inter- ventions in the rearing of babies born into extremely unpropitious milieus. He does not deny that these experiments had a salutary impact on the children but his bottom line claim is this:
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 07/2009; 28(4):369-374. DOI:10.1007/s11217-009-9134-6 · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: This is the last of four essays discussing John Dewey's essay, 'Education as engineering'. It assumes that educational engineers have failed to achieve the progressive success of bridge builders, and sketches five plausible explanations for this failure. At the end, it is suggested that the assumption is itself questionable.
    Curriculum Studies 02/2009; 41(1):21-23. DOI:10.1080/00220270802356819 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • FRANCIS SCHRAG
    Educational Theory 04/2007; 22(4):382 - 394. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.1972.tb00574.x
  • Francis Schrag
    Educational Theory 01/2005; 44(3):361 - 369. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.1994.00361.x
  • Francis Schrag
    Educational Theory 01/2005; 46(2):151 - 159. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.1996.00151.x
  • Francis Schrag
    Educational Theory 01/2005; 51(1):63 - 73. DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.2001.00063.x
  • F. K. Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Evaluation of high stakes testing regimes must consider not simply mean test scores, but their distribution among students. Taking high school graduation tests and black and white student populations to illustrate the argument, I identify two criteria of success: a larger proportion of black high school graduates and a narrower gap between the two groups. I evaluate various possible distributions against these criteria. I then consider the question of which students merit our focused attention, those students who are furthest behind or those with the greatest likelihood of passing the test given extra help. A medical triage analogy suggests we should help the former, but I show here that the analogy is misplaced.
    Theory and Research in Education 11/2004; 2(3):255-262. DOI:10.1177/1477878504046519
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Each of the authors discussed in this review essay deplores the attempts of scholars in the human sciences to ape their colleagues in the natural sciences and economics. Their criticisms are not dissimilar, nor are they without merit, but it is important to ask the following questions: What would they offer in its place? What kind of warrantability do the alternatives promise? Can researchers avoid the dominant paradigms and still have something valuable to say to policymakers? The bulk of the review focuses on Bent Flyvbjerg's Making Social Science Matter, the best-reasoned critique, and the one that offers the clearest alternative to the status quo.
    Educational Theory 01/2004; 54(1):89 - 101. DOI:10.1111/j.0013-2004.2004.0005.x
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Over the last 40 years, American educational scholars have deployed a variety of theoretical perspectives to understand schooling in its relation to society beyond the schools. Through most of the 1950s and 1960s, the structural-functional perspective deriving from the late sociologist Talcott Parsons was dominant. During the 1970s, perspectives whose roots can be traced backtoEuropean theorists such as Karl Marx and AntonioGramsci held centre-stage. During this period, the structural-functional framework was the object of severe criticism. Most recently, the influence of the late French scholar Michel Foucault has been growing. In the US, Foucault's work appears, indeed, to represent the 'cutting edge' of theorizing about schooling's role in society. 1 What is curious is that in Discipline and Punish (1977), Foucault's only work to deal specifically with schooling, the logic of Foucault's analysis bears astrong resemblance tothat found in the earlier structural-functional accounts. This remains true, I believe, despite Foucault's vastly different rhetorical style, and despite his own disavowal of the label 'structuralist'. Why, then, would a mode of analysis that was the object of so much criticism a generation ago be reincarnated a generation later? Before speculating on this in the second part of the essay, let me support my assertion that the two modes of analysis are homologous by comparing Foucault's analysis of the examination in Discipline and Punish with that offered by Robert Dreeben, a student and disciple of Parsons.
    Curriculum Studies 07/1999; 31(4-4):375-383. DOI:10.1080/002202799183043 · 0.97 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 04/1999; 18(3):189-195. DOI:10.1023/A:1005190104019 · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • Francis Schrag
    Studies in Philosophy and Education 12/1997; 17(1):29-46. DOI:10.1023/A:1005020602073 · 0.39 Impact Factor
  • Article: AFTERWORDS
    Francis Schrag
    Educational Theory 12/1994; 44(4). DOI:10.1111/j.1741-5446.1994.00463.x
  • Francis Schrag
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Bereiter is right about the limitations of fact-based and Deweyian approaches to education, but his own approach has limitations as well: it views understanding too exclusively in scientific terms.
    Interchange 12/1992; 23(4):379-381. DOI:10.1007/BF01447283