NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: ED533751
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 254
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1248-9220-7
Common Schools: Classical Schools Citizenship Education in a Pluralistic State
Pitts, Timothy Wade
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Virginia
In the current political climate, where many politicians in both Europe and United States have proclaimed that multi-cultural education has failed as an educational paradigm, there is a growing fear that the very idea of a democratic, multicultural society is untenable over time. In this dissertation, I explore three responses to the question of how citizens ought to be educated in such a nation--i.e., what commitments and values are vital to the continued maintenance, and improvement, of a pluralistic nation that values individual freedom and how those commitments and values can be taught. I have examined the common school proposals of Walter Feinberg and Eamonn Callan that draw heavily upon current liberal democratic theory and juxtaposed these expositions with the "classical" educational theory of David Hicks. I ask two questions of Feinberg and Callan: (I) would their proposals accomplish their stated aims of creating and unifying an autonomous citizenry?, and (2) would their proposals be likely to overcome the significant presuppositional gulf that often separates citizens on the question of what identity work is proper to the public school? I suggest that both Feinberg's and Callan's proposals are unlikely to achieve their goals. I agree with Feinberg that a contextualized identity is a necessary and proper goal of education; however, his reliance upon contextualized identity as an educational aim is unlikely to achieve the national unity he desires. I agree with Callan that individual autonomy is a great good and an ideal worth pursuing; however, I argue that while Callan's depiction of the autonomous citizen is philosophically compelling, it is not likely to compel the student to seek personal autonomy as a virtue. Neither approach appears to offer significant promise for bridging the presuppositional gulf that separates citizens with profound religious commitments from their more liberally minded fellow citizens. Hicks approach to normative inquiry, which accords imagination a greater role in the development of virtue, is presented as a possible ameliorating approach that might help to bridge that presuppositional gulf--providing a liberal education to the young citizens without necessarily requiring acceptance of the often divisive liberal commitments. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United States