This qualitative study presents a retrospective analysis of how a cohort of young men, who as boys were assigned to residential care in Malta, perceive the citizenship education that they received while ‘in care’ as having empowered them – as boys, adolescents, and eventually as young adults. Rather than focusing on citizenship education that is derived from formal schooling, this study is focused on analysing the meaning that the participants attributed to experiences of daily living at the care home alongside the cooperative activities that were organized for them by the staff so as to enable them to learn about one another, share responsibilities, and develop feelings of group-solidarity among themselves. The study thereby explores whether the participants see themselves as having an increased repertoire of social competencies, including cooperative decision-making and the ability to forge effective interpersonal relationships, as a result of their being in care. Using an ecosystemic approach, it looks into how other related agents of socialization including their schooling also had a bearing on their lives. The study uses interviews and focus groups to give the particpants a ‘voice’ in describing reality as they perceive and understand it. It shows that, to provide meaningful citizenship education to vulnerable, at-risk children and young people, it is important that they are provided with skills and opportunities to share personal stories and events with one another, and to support each other’s growth. Since boys in care can be extremely conscious that they are in care, this implies that effort needs to be made to help them foster greater links with the outside community, particularly with their family, friends and other adults. It is therefore recommended that young people in care are given opportunities to develop greater self-confidence as this would allow them to promote greater cohesion among themselves and empower them to be more agentic and proactive in wider society.
Concomitant with the rise of rationalizing accountability in higher education has been an increase in theoretical reflection about the forms accountability has taken and the ones it should take. The literature is now peppered by a wide array of distinctions (e.g. internal/external, inward/ outward, vertical/horizontal, upward/downward, professional/public, political/economic, soft/ hard, positive/negative), to the point that when people speak of ‘accountability’ they risk speaking past one another, having some of these distinctions in mind and not others. Furthermore, often these distinctions are vague and cross-cut each other in ways that are as yet unclear. The field could benefit from having a comprehensive framework in which to place these distinctions and to view their relations. My aim in this article is to provide an analytical tool by which to classify important debate about what accountability in higher education has been and ought to be. Beyond organizing such debate, this schema will serve the purposes of revealing ambiguities in terms, conflations of ideas, assumptions that warrant questioning, and gaps in present research agendas.
Educational standards, assessments, and accountability systems are of immense political moment around the world. But there is no developed theory exploring the role that these systems should play within a democratic polity in particular. On the one hand, well-designed standards are public goods, supported by assessment and accountability mechanisms. They have the potential to serve democratic goods in particular, such as transparency, equality, and public discourse. On the other hand, their very potential to advance systemic democratic goods signals a level of reach and power that threatens the achievement of these same democratic values along other dimensions. This is especially evident in the contemporary United States. Adults’ democratically legitimate control over education within a democracy may well undercut children’s legitimate claims to receiving an education that equips them for democracy. Because the latter should trump the former, democratic goods are best achieved through embedding very limited educational standards, assessments, and accountability measures within an educational system that selects, trains, and provides ongoing support to civically engaged and thoughtful educators. Under such circumstances, they may promote a virtuous circle that builds capacity, motivation, and public support for strong and effective civic education practices, while still offering the adult public a strong democratic voice in public schools.
Moral particularism, defined as the view that moral judgment does not require moral principles, has become prominent both in moral philosophy and in philosophy of education. This article re-examines Nussbaum’s case for particularism, based on Sophocles’ Antigone, because her stress on sensitive appreciation of circumstantial specifics is salutary, though it cannot justify particularism because the problem lies not with moral principles, nor with moral judgment, but with a constricted and untenable view of rational judgment as simple syllogistic ratiocination. To improve our understanding of the central role of principles in moral judgment and in educational theory, this article explicates ‘mature judgment’ and highlights key features of Thomas Green’s account of norm acquisition, and of Kant’s account of the autonomy of rational judgment. These provide a basis for justifying liberal arts education in today’s context.
Two approaches to making judgments about moral urgency in educational policy have prevailed in American law and public policy. One approach holds that educational policy should aspire to realizing equal opportunities in education for all. The other approach holds that educational policy should aspire to realizing adequate opportunities in education for all. Although the former has deep roots in American culture and its jurisprudence, a common narrative is that in recent years the equal opportunities approach has been displaced by the educational adequacy approach, which is said both to have enjoyed much greater success in the school financing litigation as well as to be theoretically more defensible. The present article is designed to make a contribution to the retrieval of the equal opportunities approach. It does so by sketching out a theory of equal opportunities in education organized around the idea of stakes fairness that can withstand the criticisms often made of that approach and by showing how that theory is better able than the educational adequacy approach to address the fairness of a more robust educational policy agenda that extends beyond school financing.
Some political philosophers have recently argued that providing K–12 students with an adequate education suffices for social justice in education provided that the threshold of educational adequacy is properly understood. Others have argued that adequacy is insufficient for social justice. In this article I side with the latter group. I extend this debate to racial inequality in education by considering the controversial practice of paying students cash for grades to close the racial achievement gap. I then argue that framing the demand for racial justice in education solely in terms of educational adequacy leaves us unable to take issue with the cash for grades policy as a matter of principle. While this does not entail that educational adequacy is unimportant, it adds to the general case for why adequacy does not suffice for social justice.
Virtue epistemologists hold that knowledge results from the display of epistemic virtues – open-mindedness, rigor, sensitivity to evidence, and the like. But epistemology cannot rest satisfied with a list of the virtues. What is wanted is a criterion for being an epistemic virtue. An extension of a formulation of Kant’s categorical imperative yields such a criterion. Epistemic agents should think of themselves as, and act as, legislating members of a realm of epistemic ends: they make the rules, devise the methods, and set the standards that bind them. The epistemic virtues are the traits of intellectual character that equip them to do so. Students then not only need to learn the standards, methods, and rules of the various disciplines, they also need to learn to think of themselves as, and how to behave as, legislating members of epistemic realms who are responsible for what they and their fellows believe. This requires teaching them to respect reasons, and to take themselves to be responsible for formulating reasons their peers can respect.
The widespread disaffection of students from school is manifested in academic failure, indifference, and defiance. These problems can be alleviated, I argue, when an authority structure is developed that combines three components — freedom, power, and legitimacy. Authority understood as either power or freedom is apt to subvert students’ school attachment even while attempting to strengthen it; authority that combines power and freedom, when perceived by all parties as serving a legitimate mission, is apt to enhance engagement. The bonding potency of authority is augmented when it is joined to strongly marked school purposes and dispersed to students. The three components of authority are interwoven with school visions and student authority into various patterns: some schools lean more towards power, others more towards freedom; some operate under highly moralized and totalizing visions, others under vaguer, less moral, and less encompassing visions. The nature and interdependence of the three components and the trade-offs under various combinations are discussed. While legitimate authority has many faces, if schools are to be engaging places for students it is essential that the norms promoted are welcomed by them; advantageous to that process is ordaining students with authority to advance prevailing norms.
Historically, medical education has focused largely on medical students' intellectual development, mostly ignoring the broader psychological milieu of medical practice. This chasm can result in practitioners who are less likely to process their emotions and/or support their patient's needs, and more likely to experience burnout. Self-determination theory (SDT) offers a unique perspective for understanding how the medical education environment can promote better integration of cognitive and psychological development through supporting the basic psychological needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness, thus facilitating internalization of autonomous self-regulation for medical practice. Herein, we examine research applying SDT to medical education and offer suggestions that may facilitate both practitioners' and patients' well-being. (Contains 2 notes.)
This article presents a moral analysis of the limitations upon legitimate authority to suspend and expel students in K–12 public schools, and it brings this analysis to bear on a pair of difficult disciplinary cases. The analysis is grounded in a defense of a child’s right to receive a public education. It identifies the minimum content of that right and the procedural and substantive entailments of that content. It argues that, even in the case of very serious violations of school rules, students do not forfeit their right to a public education; expulsion must be treated as a remedy of last resort, and students who are expelled are entitled to suitable alternative instruction.
The development of autonomy in children is a central concern of liberal philosophers of education. We endorse the liberal intuition that autonomy matters and that it is an appropriate aim of education. However, we divert from autonomy liberals, who defend a rather limited and demanding conception of autonomy that is closely connected with skills of critical thinking and reflection. As a consequence of this conception, they believe that (orthodox) religious education poses one of the severest threats to the development of autonomy. We do not deny the value of their conception of autonomy. Our point, however, is that the inhibition of the development of this kind of autonomy is not by far as serious a problem as the frustration of a more basic form of autonomy that the majority of people are expected to achieve. Focusing on this kind of autonomy, we argue that it is not religious education, but rather certain ingrained features of consumer societies that pose the greatest threats to the development of autonomy. We conclude by offering some suggestions regarding how education can counter these threats.
Catherine Elgin proposes a novel principle for identifying epistemic virtue. Based loosely on Kant’s Categorical Imperative, it identifies autonomy as our fundamental epistemic responsibility, and defines the epistemic virtues as those traits of character needed to exercise epistemic autonomy. I argue that Elgin’s principle fails as a criterion of epistemic virtue because the instrumental conception of autonomy on which it relies leads to an untenable relativism. Despite this, I suggest that autonomy may yet furnish a plausible criterion for epistemic virtue, provided we construe autonomy as Kant does, as grounded in categorical rather than instrumental reason.
Many significant changes in perspective have to take place before efforts to learn the content and capabilities of children’s minds can hold much sway in educational testing. The language of testing, especially of high stakes testing, remains firmly in the realm of ‘behaviors’, ‘performance’ and ‘competency’ defined in terms of behaviors, test items, or observations. What is on children’s minds is not taken into account as integral to the test design and interpretation process. The point of this article is to argue that behaviorist-based validation models are ill-founded, and to recommend basing tests on cognitive models that theorize the content and capabilities of children’s minds in terms of such features as meta-cognition, reasoning strategies, and principles of sound thinking. This approach is the one most likely to yield the construct validity for tests long endorsed by many testing theorists. The implications of adopting a cognitive basis for testing that might be upsetting to many current practices are explored.
This article discusses the implications of some current philosophical thinking about groups, culture and the politics of identity (exploring the views of Anthony Appiah, Amartya Sen and Nel Noddings, among others) for education generally, and for issues of classroom organization in particular. My basic thesis is that, when we understand the pressures and tensions which confront individuals--especially children--as they struggle to define themselves in the context of an increasingly complex and divided society, we should also realize that the organizational dimensions of schools and classrooms deserve at least as much attention as the standard concerns about literacy and numeracy. Seeking to forge a path between the well-known extremes of individualism and collectivism, the article looks critically at some prominent types of groups and associations--particularly the "large" ones of specific cultures, religions and nations--not with a view to imagining their non-existence but, rather, with a prescription for structuring teaching and learning environments as "communities of inquiry." (Contains 20 notes.)
This short commentary offers praise for Tom Wartenberg’s book Big Ideas for Little Kids and raises questions about who is best qualified to lead a philosophy discussion with children, and how we are to assess the benefits of doing philosophy with children.
Thomas Wartenberg offers his book as a guide that will provide elementary school teachers what they need to facilitate philosophical discussions with children. My concerns are centered on the nature and role of philosophical discussion, the level of philosophical acumen needed for facilitating such discussion, and the role of character development in this educational adventure.
Most societies today are culturally diverse. Increasingly, minority groups are demanding recognition and self-governing rights to protect their ways of life against that of the majority. These demands represent a serious challenge for the state: how is it to balance between the equally legitimate claims of the many cultures inhabiting its territories, all the while promoting a set of common practices and democratic institutions? In several influential publications, Will Kymlicka has offered persuasive answers to those questions. This article examines his theory, with particular emphasis on the distinction he draws between what he calls national minorities and polyethnic (or immigrant) groups. Given his hierarchical structuring of both groups, this article attempts to show that Kymlicka falls into somewhat contradictory positions, especially evident when considering the implications of his theory on how education is structured within multicultural states.
This article considers Bourdieu’s concepts of ‘social capital’ and ‘social fields’, comparing and contrasting his use of these concepts with that of James Coleman and Robert Putnam. It examines how Bourdieu’s ideas offer a different way of understanding the lives of economically disadvantaged young women designated as ‘at risk’ of leaving school early. A micro-level analysis is made of ‘Bluey’s story’, a narrative derived from data gathered during a three-year research project on young women’s negotiations from the margins of education and work in Australia. Deconstructing Bluey’s narrative reveals how social capital is deployed (sometimes unsuccessfully) in a range of social fields. Such narratives can thus be used to ‘speak back’ to educational policies, to provide alternative insights into the issues and needs of economically disadvantaged young women and to challenge current constructs of ‘at risk’.
Have college students become careerists rather than intellectuals? Are working-class students to blame for grade inflation, grade-grubbing, and the downscaling of the university’s noble mission of educating the whole person? These assertions, although somewhat buried in a mass of facts and findings, are present in almost every research study on college student ‘orientations’ produced since the 1970s. This article critically examines these assertions from a working-class perspective, pointing out the ways ‘intellectualism’ and ‘academicism’ have been culturally constructed to favor middle-class behavior and actions, arguing instead that anxiety over the economic value of a college degree reflects awareness of intense changes in the occupational structure and has little to do with increased materialism or anti-intellectualism.
Theories that explain the gender discrepancy in mathematics almost universally explain why boys are "better at math" than girls while failing to adequately account for girls' higher grades in math classes or better performances on tests of computational ability. This article develops a new, more comprehensive theoretical model that explains girls' advantages in some areas of math, while also showing how these advantages are a liability in the mathematical realms dominated by boys. Specifically, it argues that "strategy socialization" in risk-taking and rule-following disproportionately supports girls in the development of an "algorithmic strategy" and boys in a "problem-solving strategy". As the algorithmic strategy leads to success in elementary school mathematics, girls' strategy socialization is rewarded and uncontested. However, the over-rewarding of this single strategy also leads to difficulties in switching strategies as demanded by higher mathematics. Boys' strategy socialization, by contrast, is at odds with early mathematics, contributing to boys' underperformance at this stage. However, boys' "strategic dissonance" gives them practice in switching strategies, which aids them in solving unfamiliar problems that require new approaches later in the curriculum. The implications for educational reform are discussed.
Responding to Brighouse's comments, we discuss ways that institutions of higher education themselves can increase access for low-income students.We argue for the important role of community colleges and for bridge programs that colleges can establish with middle and high schools to ensure that students take the subjects necessary to prepare them for higher education. Responding to Strike's observations, we recapitulate our defense of affirmative action and discuss some of the emerging empirical literature that raises questions about affirmative action's consequences.
While commitment to a universal entitlement to education is highly desirable, some significant limitations have been identified in the right to education as currently expressed and implemented. This article assesses the contribution that the capabilities approach can make in this regard. While some proponents have suggested that capabilities should replace a rights framework, it is argued here that the elements of ‘threshold’ and ‘duty-bearer’ present in human rights are essential, and that a more promising approach is to combine the two frameworks. Three significant contributions that the capabilities approach can make in relation to Education for All are proposed: providing a fuller conception of the realization of the right to education; addressing the heterogeneity of learners; and guarding against an overly state-facing approach.
Educational researchers have assumed that the concept of funds of knowledge is related to specific forms of capital. However, scholars have not examined if and how these theoretical frameworks can complement each other when attempting to understand educational opportunity for under-represented students. In this article, we argue that a funds of knowledge approach should also be studied from a capital perspective. We claim that bridging funds of knowledge and capital has the potential to advance theory and to yield new insights and understandings of students’ educational opportunities and experiences. Finally, we provide a discussion of key processes — (mis)recognition, transmission, conversion, and activation/mobilization — to which educational researchers need to pay closer attention when attempting to understand the attainment of goals in under-represented students’ lives.
Political liberalism, conceived of as a response to the diversity of conceptions of the good in multicultural societies, aims to put forward a proposal for how to organize political institutions that is acceptable to a wide range of citizens. It does so by remaining neutral between reasonable conceptions of the good while giving all citizens a fair opportunity to access the offices and positions which enable them to pursue their own conception of the good. Public educational institutions are at the center of the state’s attempt to foster both of these commitments. I argue that recent empirical research on the role that non-cognitive dispositions (such as assertiveness) play in enabling students to have access to two important primary goods – opportunities for higher education and desirable jobs – creates a distinctive challenge for a liberal egalitarian education in remaining neutral with respect to conceptions of the good while promoting equal opportunity.
This article compares a demanding conception of educational adequacy with the Rawlsian idea of fair equality of opportunity. It defends fair equality of opportunity against criticisms, but argues that it needs to be explicitly anchored in a theory of equal citizenship.
Wartenberg’s Big Ideas for Little Ideas presents an apt argument for and explanation of one method for doing philosophy with young people. There is much about the text which is strong but some of the philosophical and children’s literature pairing is not as strong as it should be, and the audience for the book does seem to shift as it progresses.
This article examines the arguments and underlying assumptions of Adam Swift's book on "How Not to Be a Hypocrite." It argues that, although there is much that is commendable and fascinating in the book, it might have benefited from a more sociological approach to the middle class. While the book is designed to capture and argue with the anxieties of middle class parents, it really only addresses the concerns of one fraction--specifically the "new middle class". It also under-emphasizes the nature and force of parents' anxieties, which are often less to do with pushing their children to higher plains and rather more to do with fear of social descent. In addition, the book underplays the pervasiveness of social class on lifestyle and modes of reasoning. School choice is not just one area of decision making that can be separated from other life choices. It is a shame that this lack of a sociological grounding of class differences diminishes the force of what is an otherwise powerful book and an admirable attempt to celebrate academic thinking and to believe that people other than academics can benefit from serious consideration of difficult issues.
In this article, I offer a response to Adam Swift's book, "How Not to be A Hypocrite: School Choice for the Morally Perplexed Parent", by developing some reflections on the nature, value and limits of parental partiality. I address two main issues. First, I consider the issue of how we should interpret the character and value of parental partiality. I argue that treating parental partiality as a kind of disposition helps to illuminate its distinctive value and also explains why we tend to judge some illegitimate expressions of partiality more harshly than others. Second, I examine one of the justifications Swift views as valid for sending children to private school. I criticize Swift's contention that parents can be justified in sending children to private schools in order to secure for them a "fair chance in life". (Contains 2 notes.)
This article examines the rationales for school choice, and the significance of choice mechanisms for racial disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes. It identifies tensions between liberty-based rationales and equality-based rationales, and surveys research findings on the outcomes of school choice policies, especially with regard to the racial composition of schools and distribution of opportunities. It concludes that school choice policies are multifarious and lack cohesion, that many existing mechanisms of choice lack proper public justification, and that the outcomes of these policies and mechanisms are at odds with most of the goals identified by their advocates, particularly for minority families.
Sigal Ben-Porath objects to the educational strategies of a number of high commitment charter schools, arguing that they do not pay sufficient attention to the need to develop and exercise the civic virtues of students. This response article highlights a number of philosophical disagreements concerning the traits of character that are central to good citizenship. It also discusses some of the difficulties involved in assessing how effective different types of schools are in the promotion of a particular set of civic virtues.
In this paper I argue for considering patriotism as a civic virtue, and in particular I defend the view that patriotism should be endorsed under certain conditions as a perspective suitable for teaching in public schools.
My argument begins with an exposé to the debate on patriotism as virtue between those who endorse it as a requisite of morality and those who reject it as an abomination. I defend a position which describes patriotism as a civic virtue rather than a primary moral virtue. ['why a virtue?']. Next I consider what it means to be a citizen in times of war, focusing on the changing conceptions and manifestations of patriotism under fire ['why a necessity?'] I proceed to suggest that the qualified notion of patriotism which I defend should affect the way public schools create citizens, particularly in times of war ['why in schools?']. By 'affect' I do not mean a wholehearted endorsement; rather I mean a sincere consideration, which starts from public schools' basic democratic commitments, but nonetheless acknowledges the moral realities of a society at war, among them the heightened sense of the love of country.
Education has become one of the foremost arenas in which political liberals attempt to differentiate their account from that of comprehensive liberals. Rawls posits that the requirements of his theory, as laid out in Political Liberalism, will be far less stringent than those of liberals such as Kant, Mill or Joseph Raz. However, a number of influential theorists, most notably Amy Gutmann and Eamonn Callan, have argued that this divergence occurs only at the level of theoretical justification, and does not imply that the two varieties of liberalism will prescribe significantly different educational policies. This article refutes this argument and shows that a more detailed focus on the civic aims of political liberals will reveal significant differences in their position on educational questions from those of their comprehensive rivals.
The expectation that schools resuscitate civic virtues and create a vibrant civic and public sphere competes with a more powerful contemporary demand on schools, namely, that they generate equal opportunity and mobility, especially for poor and minority youth. This equal opportunity is framed solely in the context of grades on standardized tests. The effort to improve the educational achievement of youth from underserved communities is undertaken through strict behavior management practices, particularly in charter networks that are seen as more successful. These, I suggest, pose the risk of undermining the opportunity students have to develop and practice civic virtues. I raise the possibility that schools teach different kinds of civic virtue to different kinds of children.
Teachers sometimes shut students up for the sake of civility. My question is whether silencing for the sake of civility can be morally justified when a student derogates fellow students as members of some widely stigmatized group, and the offending speech is not for any further reason to be deplored, for example, as a personally targeted insult. Exploring possible answers to that question sheds light on a bigger issue: the proper character of ‘civility regimes’ in educational institutions whenever group stigmatization persists in the social background and impinges seriously on some students’ lives. A plausible argument for silencing under the conditions specified is derived from respect for students’ equal dignity and the protection of fair educational opportunity. That argument is nonetheless defeated by considerations about the rightful place of intellectual candor in a culture of free speech and the centrality of educational institutions in supporting candor’s development.
This article deals with the issue of how to establish an authentic community of inquiry. I propose the introduction of a distinction between two stages of the community of inquiry: the stage of an emergent community of inquiry and the stage of an established community of inquiry. Further on, I propose an analysis of the structure of intentions and goals in the community of inquiry using Elster's concept of `states that are essentially by-products'. I suggest that the position of the subject be defined on the basis of the aforementioned two stages of the community: in the first stage, there is a community consisting of equal individuals who voluntarily engage in dialogue, whereas in the second stage there is a subject who is not engaged in dialogue, but arises in it at a certain point. It seems that it is the internalized dialogical community, in which the participants are equal and strive for clarity and transparency, that generates the necessary space for the particular foundation of the subject to show itself — the particular foundation that is not yet captured in reflection and that defies articulation in dialogue.
Cognitive enhancement — augmenting normal cognitive capacities — is not new. Literacy, numeracy, computers, and the practices of science are all cognitive enhancements. Science is now making new cognitive enhancements possible. Biomedical cognitive enhancements (BCEs) include the administration of drugs, implants of genetically engineered or stem-cell grown neural tissue, transcranial magnetic stimulation, computer/brain interface technologies, and (perhaps someday) modification of human embryos by genetic engineering and/or synthetic biology techniques. The same liberal—democratic values that support education as a public institutional endeavor also supply reasons for institutionalizing and publicly supporting BCE. Pursuing the goals of education may require changing what we have hitherto regarded as the individual’s ‘natural’ potential, even in the case of normal individuals, and this may require recourse to BCE. The prospect of BCE raises no novel issues of distributive justice. Like other beneficial innovations, BCEs have the potential to worsen existing unjust inequalities, but they also have the potential to ameliorate them.
Recently scholars have wondered whether liberals can promote mandatory programs of formal environmental education, including education for the environment or sustainable development. Critics maintain that they cannot on grounds that environmental education is a threat to student autonomy or cannot be justified using liberal principles. We argue that the perceived conflict between liberalism and environmental education is exaggerated. Whatever the environmentalist ambitions of environmental education, any complete conception of it must prioritize education for skills and virtues that are consistent with students’ prospective autonomy. Liberalism is also compatible with meeting the demands of intergenerational justice, which arguably will include sustainability education if not other forms of environmental education. Finally, the skills and virtues future citizens need to manage today’s most pressing environmental problems are compatible both with those discussed in international statements on environmental education and with those commonly associated with liberal citizenship. Ultimately, environmental education that will better equip citizens to cope with environmental problems is quite possible for liberal politics.
This article evaluates the credo "integration while maintaining one's identity" with the help of psychological arguments. First, it explores the requirements of being a good citizen in a liberal democracy. Following Rawls, we state that justice is the cardinal liberal virtue and that this virtue includes having the disposition to respect the rights of all citizens equally. It then investigates psychological theories about identity and the relation between culture and identity. We focus on the distinction between collectivistic cultures and an interdependent self-concept on the one hand and individualistic cultures and an independent self-concept on the other. We come to the conclusion that the development into a good citizen of a liberal democracy cannot be combined with the full preservation of an interdependent self-concept. Further, we argue that the state has the right and the duty to offer civic education to all pupils, even if this means that the development of an inter-dependent self-concept of children from particular immigrant groups will be hampered. (Contains 5 notes.)
The general questions are: what is virtue and how can it be cultivated? The specific focus is on the conceptions of virtue in the works of Immanuel Kant and John Rawls. Kant regarded virtue as a good will that is also strong enough to resist contrary passions, impulses, and inclinations. Childhood training can prepare children for virtue, but becoming virtuous requires an empirically inexplicable commitment and effort that is up to each individual. Rawls explains a sense of justice as a civic virtue that he conjectures will develop naturally, according to certain psychological laws, if the basic structure of society is just. Rawls’ reliance on empirical studies addresses questions left mysterious by Kant, but his theory faces problems of its own.
Incl. bibl. Transforming schools into truly egalitarian institutions requires a holistic and integrated approach. Using a robust conception of 'equality of condition', we examine key dimensions of equality that are central to both the purposes and processes of education: equality in educational and related resources; equality of respect and recognition; equality of power; and equality of love, care and solidarity. We indicate in each case some of the major changes that need to occur if we are to promote equality of condition. Starting with inequalities of resources, and in particular with inequalities tied to social class, we argue for abandoning rigid grouping policies, challenging the power of parents in relation to both selection and grouping, and changing curricula and assessment systems to make them more inclusive of the wide range of human intelligences. In relation to respect and recognition, we call for much more inclusive processes for respecting differences, not only in schools' organizational cultures, but also in their curriculum, pedagogy and assessment systems. Regarding inequalities of power, we call for democratization of both teacher-student relationships and school and college organization. For promoting equality of love, care and solidarity, we argue that schools need to develop an appreciation of the intrinsic role that emotions play in the process of teaching and learning, to provide a space for students and teachers to talk about their feelings and concerns, and to devise educational experiences that will enable students to develop their emotional skills or personal intelligences as a discrete area of human capability.
Five years ago in Theory and Research in Education, James R. Muir fired a new salvo in the debate regarding the merits of Isocrates’ educational program, a controversy that has endured for more than two millennia. Was the Isocratean program misguided and lowbrow, as in the estimations of Plato and Aristotle — or was it the most successful program of classical education, as in the later estimations of Cicero and Quintilian? Was Isocrates himself a middling intellect, as Marrou claims, or, worse, a progenitor of Hitler’s Third Reich, as Vitanza maintains — or was he the founder of modern liberal arts education, as Corbett and Welch believe? To date, the debate has dealt more with the reputation than the details of Isocrates’ program. In hopes of shedding additional light on the controversy, this article draws upon Isocrates’ own essays to present the goals, curriculum, and methods of his educational program.
While Canada is often described as the most and France as one of the least successful countries in the realm of immigrant incorporation, the question remains unresolved of how to evaluate a country’s policies for dealing with immigration and incorporation relative to that of others. Our strategy is to examine the relationships among 1) countries’ policies and practices with regard to admitting immigrants, 2) their educational policies for incorporating first and second generation immigrants, and 3) educational achievement of immigrants and their children. We compare eight western industrialized countries. We find that immigration regimes, educational regimes, and schooling outcomes are linked distinctively in each country. States that are liberal, or effective, on one dimension may be relatively conservative, or ineffective, on another, and countries vary in their willingness and ability to help disadvantaged people achieve upward mobility through immigration and schooling. We conclude that by some normative standards, France has a better immigration regime than does Canada. Overall, this study points to new ways to study immigration and new normative standards for judging states’ policies of incorporation. Government Accepted Manuscript
Incl. bibl. This article seeks to apply Adam Swift's (2003) critique of private and selective schooling to higher education in the UK. The higher education sector in this country is highly differentiated, with high status, research-led elite institutions at the top of the university hierarchy, and newer universities, with far lower levels of funding and prestige, at the bottom. The extent of this differentiation is illustrated by an analysis of six universities at different ends of this spectrum. It also becomes apparent that the student profiles of these institutions are very different, with privately educated, white, middle class students particularly over-represented in the elite universities, and working-class, minority ethnic, and to some extent, women students concentrated in those institutions with far lower levels of funding and prestige. Considerable benefits accrue to those who have attended the elite institutions, and it is argued that the hierarchy of universities both reflects and perpetuates social inequalities, with the middle-classes retaining their privileges and the elite continuing to reproduce itself. The discourse of meritocracy that is used to justify this institutional differentiation is also discussed, and the paper concludes with a call for a more socially just and equitable future for the higher education sector.
In ‘Two conceptions of virtue’, Thomas Hill reconstructs the conceptions of virtue, and of proper moral upbringing, found in Kant and Rawls. Here I offer some brief reflections on these conceptions of virtue and its cultivation. I argue that Kant’s conception of virtue is grounded in a mistaken conception of desire, and that this makes it difficult to account properly for the role of ‘sentimental education’ in a good moral upbringing. I then suggest that, in addition to the explicit conception of moral upbringing to which Hill attends, Rawls has an implicit conception of the cultivation of the virtue of justice. This conception is implicit in Rawls’ philosophical methodology, and it assigns a central and recognizably Hegelian role to reasoned philosophical reflection.
The most common lay explanation for the racial gap in educational achievement in the US is the ‘oppositional culture hypothesis’, which holds that Black students tend to undervalue education and stigmatize their high-achieving peers, accusing them of ‘acting White’. Many believe that, insofar as this hypothesis is true, Black underachievement is unproblematic from the perspective of justice, because Black students are simply not taking the fair opportunities presented to them. This article offers a systematic critique of the normative aspects of this view and some conceptual clarifications regarding the nature of opportunity.
This article criticizes the view that, if cultural factors within the black community explain poor educational outcomes for blacks, then blacks should bear all of the disadvantages that follow from this. Educational outcomes are the joint, iterated product of schools’ responses to students’ and parents’ culturally conditioned conduct. Schools are not entitled to excessively burden such conduct even when it is less than educationally ideal. Cultural capital theory illuminates the ways schools may unjustly penalize the culturally conditioned conduct of blacks and the poor. However, it must be refined to take into account normative differences between arbitrary and educationally important forms of cultural capital. Differential impact analysis offers a useful tool for revealing when schools’ responses to students’ and parents’ conduct reflects unjust racial stigmatization and ethnocentric bias.
In this article we argue for the necessity of far-reaching change in school curricula and pedagogy. More particularly, we argue that developing students’ understanding and engagement in the disciplines which make up the school curriculum requires an unearthing of the philosophical issues underlying science, mathematics, the arts, geography, history, and so on. This means that philosophical inquiry must be embedded in every curriculum area. While at first sight this task might appear unattainable, we go on to illustrate by means of detailed examples how the goal might be realized and point to theoretical and empirical evidence to support this contention.
The economic and environmental crises that face humanity today require an educational response. This article accepts the proposition that education may play a part in preparing human beings to survive impacts of human-induced climate change for example. However, education, according to some conceptualizations, is also in crisis. It therefore appears far from clear what a ‘curriculum of survival’ consists of. This article adopts a sceptical viewpoint on education for sustainability. Rather than be concerned with ever tighter definitions of what this may mean, or prescriptions of more effective practices, it turns its gaze towards what is there already – the imperfect but long-standing idea and disciplinary enquiry called geography. Geography as the ‘world subject’ is of great salience. It is about human occupation of the planet and has always ultimately been concerned with survival. This article explores the two ideas of geography and education, and appeals for a re-assessment of the role of the ‘traditional’ disciplines, especially geography, in a curriculum of survival.
One central aspect of a healthy democracy is the practice of democratic dissent. For the first time in many years, dissent is being widely practiced in town hall meetings and on street corners across the United States. Despite this presence, dissent is often suppressed or omitted in the prescribed, tested, hidden, and external curriculum of US schools. This article calls for a realignment of these aspects of curriculum with both a guiding vision of ideal democracy and a realistic interpretation of democracy as it is currently invoked in order to maximize this historic moment and work toward more robust democracy as a whole. This article will define dissent, show why it matters for healthy democracy, describe its role in the conscious social reproduction of citizens, reveal implications of the current more consensus-oriented forms of democracy portrayed in US schools, and call for new work on consensus and dissent in schools given changes in the present environment.
Ideally, public knowledge should encapsulate the achievements of millennia of inquiry, making them available to individuals and groups for the promotion of their various ends. I explore the ways in which the actual situation fails to live up to this ideal. Our investigations are not always directed towards the questions of most concern to most people, the results on which experts agree are not always based on reasons the broader public is prepared to endorse, and the dissemination of information is so distorted as to make supposedly free discussion and debate an unproductive shouting match. The consequences for democracy are severe, since a healthy system of public knowledge, able to discharge its function, is an essential component of a flourishing democratic society.