SS6010 - Philosophy of Education (2023/24)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2023/24|
|Module title||Philosophy of Education|
|Module level||Honours (06)|
|Credit rating for module||30|
|School||School of Social Sciences and Professions|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)||
• To introduce students to the history of philosophy from the Greeks to the 20th century, by way of the contribution they have made to issues within education
• To lead students to appreciate the relevance of philosophical arguments and theories to questions about the nature, methods and aims of education;
• To enable students to explore the theories of the systematic relationship between ideas concerning human nature, human development and the sources of knowledge, and education through curricula and pedagogies
• To encourage students to develop their skills of analysis and criticism by philosophising alongside and against key figures in the history of philosophy.
• To encourage students to understand the relevance of philosophical debates within the philosophy of mind, epistemology and value theory to issues related to the teacher’s task of teaching and the learner’s task of learning
The programme for the first semester consists of a chronological sequence of lectures covering the educational philosophy of figures from Socrates to Dewey, in order to indicate to students that philosophy constitutes an ongoing and never-closed dialogue, with no fixed, final or authoritative position, within which any question can be asked or issue raised, insofar as it is accompanied by a supporting argument open to rational scrutiny.
Within this open dialogue, however, students will become aware of how specific patterns of themes and positions have emerged in relation to education that persist to the present.
The nature and capacities of the human mind; the sources of knowledge and its contrast with belief or dogmatic opinion (Socrates vs. Locke); the most valuable objects of knowledge; various theories of the best pedagogy, and how they relate to distinct theories of the mind and its capacities. The best life to lead, and the aims of education. The role of state institutions in relation to education.
Each of the philosophers studied on the module have developed a systematic theory of education, the validity of which depends upon the consistency of three elements – their account of the nature of the mind and the sources of knowledge; their account of the best pedagogy or how to develop / teach that mind; a projection of the end / aim / function of education. Students will be encouraged to engage in philosophical analysis and criticism by detecting inconsistencies, gaps or questionable transitions between these three elements, in order to develop their powers of critical thinking. The stress throughout is to encourage students to develop a balanced view by enabling them to appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of individual systems and the arguments that philosophers have developed to support them. LO1,LO2,LO3,LO5,LO6,LO7
The second part of the module will take up and reconsider key themes and oppositions related to teaching and learning that were first introduced within the historical part of the module and attached to specific historical thinkers. Students will consider how the relevance of these oppositions to contemporary theories, questions and controversies concerning education, and whether and to what extent they need to be taken into consideration within the project of teaching and learning. The debates to be analysed will consist of questions concerning
• The best objects of knowledge – empirical facts or ideal principles?
• The faculty of the mind that the teacher needs to begin to cultivate – imagination, the senses or reason?
• Whether young children have a common nature, and – if so – of what kind, and how might this impact on education?
• Whether education ought to fill pupils with facts and values, or whether it ought to enable them to cope with the fundamental uncertainty of all facts and values?
• Whether the state should be involved in education, or whether it should be superintended by civil society, or whether it is a wholly individual affair?
• Whether the purpose of education is moulding for group existence or individual flourishing?
• Whether education is or ought to be centred around the child or centred on the knowledge inscribed in the curriculum?
• Whether education can or should promote the negative liberty of the pupil or their positive autonomy, and to what extent can either be the concern of teaching and learning? LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5,LO6,LO7
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Lectures, seminars, small group work, and individual tutorials.
On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:
1. Identify and discuss the contribution of major philosophers to debates within education
2. Analyse and criticise systematic accounts of the relation between mind, pedagogy and the aims of education
3. Consider philosophical themes attached to historical philosophers independent of their original context, and in relation to the arguments that support them
4. Detect and critically evaluate the philosophical assumptions and underpinnings of opposed contemporary positions within education
5. Expose, analyse and assess specific arguments offered in support of a position, by identifying its structure and cumulative steps
6. To understand how the ultimate and (so far) irresolvable questions raised by historical philosophers are at the heart of pedagogical practice
7. Write cogently on philosophical ideas, and express their argumentative evaluations of distinct positions in clear prose
Assessment is by written coursework: in the first instance, an essay on a specific philosopher’s theory of education studied on the module, and in the second, an essay on a philosophical theme related to the practice of teaching and learning.
Plato, Meno, in Meno and Phaedo, edited by D. Sedley, translated by A. Long, CUP, 2014
Plato, Republic, translated by D. Lee, London: Penguin, 2007
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, translated and edited by R. Crisp, CUP, 2000
Locke, J., An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, edited by P.H. Nidditch, Oxford: Clarendon, 1979.
Locke, J., Some Thoughts Concerning Education in Some Thoughts Concerning Education and Of the Conduct of the Understanding, edited by R.W. Grant & N. Tarcov, Indianapolis / Cambridge: Hackett, 1996.
Rousseau, J-J., Emile, or On Education, edited and translated by A. Bloom, London: Penguin, 1991.
Kant, I., Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, edited and translated by A. W. Wood, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2002
Kant, I., On Education, translated by A. Churton, New York: Dover Publications, 2003
Mill, J.S., On Liberty, edited by G. Himmelfarb, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985
Dewey, J., Democracy and Education: an Introduction to the Philosophy of Education, London: Collier-Macmillan, 1966.
Annas, J. An Introduction to Plato’s Republic, Oxford: Clarendon, 1981.
Apple, M.W. & ‘John Dewey’ in Fifty Major Thinkers on Education: From Confucius
Teitelbaum, K. to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Barrow, R. Plato and Education, London and New York: Routledge, 1976.
Benn, P. Ethics, London: Routledge, 2002
Brickhouse, T.C. The Philosophy of Socrates, Colorado: Westview Press, 1999
& Smith, N.D.
Plato’s Socrates, Oxford: OUP, 1994.
Brighouse, H., On Education, London: Routledge, 2005.
Burnyeat, M.F. ‘Socratic Midwifery, Platonic Inspiration’, in Essays on the Philosophy of Socrates, edited by H.H. Benson, OUP, 1992.
Burnyeat, M.F. ‘Aristotle on Learning to be Good’, in Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by A.O. Rorty, Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.
Callan, E. ‘The politics of difference and common education’ in The Routledge-Falmer Reader in the Philosophy of Education, edited by W. Carr, Abingdon: Routledge, 2005, Chapter 9.
Chappell, V. ‘Locke’s Theory of Ideas, The Cambridge Companion to Locke, edited by V. Chappell, CUP, 1994, pp.26-55.
Charvet, J. The Social Problem in the Philosophy of Rousseau, Cambridge: CUP, 1974
Cooper, D.E. ‘Plato’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Cooper, D.E. ‘John Stuart Mill’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Dearden, R.F. The Philosophy of Primary Education: An Introduction, London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1968
Dent, N.J.H. Rousseau: An Introduction to his Psychological, Social and Political Theory, Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1988.
Dickerson, A.B. ‘Immanuel Kant’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Dunn, J. Locke: A Very Short Introduction, CUP, 2003.
Englund, T. ‘Rethinking democracy and education: towards an education of deliberative citizens’, in The Routledge-Falmer Reader in the Philosophy of Education, edited by W. Carr, Abingdon: Routledge, 2005, Chapter 10.
Frankena, W.K. Three Historical Philosophies of Education: Aristotle, Kant, Dewey, Illinois: Scott, Foresman & Co, 1965.
Garforth, F.W. John Stuart Mill’s Theory of Education, Oxford: Martin Robertson, 1979.
Giesinger, J. ‘Kant on Dignity and Education’, Educational Theory 62:6, 2012
Goodin, R.E. ‘Utility and the Good’, in A Companion to Ethics, edited by P. Singer, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.
Gray, J. Mill on Liberty: A Defence, London and New York: Routledge, 1996
Guthrie, W.K.C. A History of Greek Philosophy vols. IV-VI, CUP, 1986.
Gutmann, A. ‘What’s the Use of Going to School?’ in Utilitarianism and Beyond, edited by A. Sen & B. Williams, Cambridge: CUP, 1982.
Halstead, J. M. ‘Liberal values and liberal education’, in The Routledge-Falmer Reader in the Philosophy of Education, edited by W. Carr, Abingdon: Routledge, 2005, Chapter 8.
Hobson, P. ‘Aristotle’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Hughes, G.J. Aristotle on Ethics, London: Routledge, 2001.
Lear, G.R. ‘Plato on Learning to Love Beauty’, in The Blackwell Guide to Plato’s Republic, edited by G. Santas, Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.
Lear, J. ‘Allegory and Myth in Plato’s Republic’, in The Blackwell Guide to Plato’s Republic, edited by G. Santas, Oxford: Blackwell, 2006.
Lowe, E.J. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Locke on Human Understanding, Routledge, 1995
MacIntyre, A. After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory, London: Gerald Duckworth & Co, 1982.
Mackie, J.L. Problems from Locke, Clarendon Press, 1976.
Mooney, C.G. Theories of Childhood: An Introduction to Dewey, Montessori, Erikson, Piaget and Vygotsky, St. Paul MN: Redleaf Press, 2000.
Moran, K.A. ‘Can Kant have an Account of Moral Education?’, Journal of Philosophy of Education 43:4, 2009, pp.471-484.
Morse, J.F. ‘Fostering Autonomy’, Educational Theory 47:1, 1997.
Mintz, A.I. ‘The Happy and Suffering Student? Rousseau’s Emile and the Path Not Taken in Progressive Educational Thought’, Educational Theory 62:3, 2012
Nehamas, A. Virtues of Authenticity: Essays on Plato and Socrates, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1999.
Noddings, N. Philosophy of Education, 3rd edition, London: Routledge, 2011
O’Hagan, T. ‘Jean-Jacques Rousseau’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
O’Neill, O. Constructions of Reason: Explorations in Kant’s Practical Philosophy, Cambridge: CUP, 1990.
‘Kantian Ethics’ in A Companion to Ethics, edited by P. Singer, Oxford: Blackwell, 1993.
Perkinson, H.J. Since Socrates: Studies in the History of Western Educational Thought, New York: Longman, 1980.
Peters, R.S. ‘John Dewey’s philosophy of education’, in John Dewey Reconsidered, edited by R.S. Peters, London: Routledge, 1974.
Polansky, R. (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle’s ‘Nicomachean Ethics’, CUP, 2014
Pring, R. John Dewey: a Philosopher of Education for our Time, London and New York: Continuum, 2009
Quinton, A. ‘Inquiry, thought and action: John Dewey’s theory of knowledge’, in John Dewey Reconsidered, edited by R.S. Peters, London: Routledge, 1974.
Rickless, S.C. ‘Locke’s Polemic Against Nativism’, The Cambridge Companion to Locke’s “Essay Concerning Human Understanding”, edited by L. Newman, CUP, 2007, pp.33-66.
Riley, J. Routledge Philosophy Guidebook to Mill on Liberty, London: Routledge, 1998.
Rowe, C.J. ‘Socrates’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Scheffler, I. Four Pragmatists: A Critical Introduction to Pierce, James, Mead and Dewey, London: Routledge, 1974.
Schouls, P. ‘Locke, John’ in Philosophy of Education: An Encyclopaedia, edited by J.J. Chambliss, Garland Publications, 1996
Scott, D., Plato’s Meno, CUP, 2009
Sherman, N. ‘The Habituation of Character’, in Aristotle’s Ethics: Critical Essays, edited by N. Sherman, Oxford: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.
Shuffleton, A.B. ‘Rousseau’s Imaginary Friend: Childhood, Play, and the Suspicion of the Imagination in Emile’, Educational Theory 62:3, 2012
Smith, R. ‘John Locke’ in Fifty Thinkers on Education: From Confucius to Dewey, edited by J.A. Palmer, London & New York: Routledge, 2001.
Thomson, G. On Locke, Wadsworth Publishing, 2000.
Tiles, J.E. Dewey, London: Routledge, 1990
Tipton, J. (ed.) Locke on Human Understanding, papers by Wall, G, - “Locke's Attack on Innate Knowledge”, and Harris, J. “The Locke-Leibniz Debate”
Winch, C. ‘Rousseau on Learning: A Re-evaluation’, Educational Theory 46:4, 1996.
Winch, C. ‘Autonomy as an educational aim’ in The Routledge-Falmer Reader in the Philosophy of Education, edited by W. Carr, Abingdon: Routledge, 2005, Chapter 4
Wright, E.H. The Meaning of Rousseau, New York: Russell & Russell, 1929
Journal of Philosophy of Education