ERIC Number: EJ1010519
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 10
Peters' Concept of "Education as Initiation": Communitarian or Individualist?
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v45 n2 p171-181 2013
A central element of Richard Peters' philosophy of education has been his analysis of "education as initiation". Understanding initiation is internally related to concepts of community and what it may mean to be a member. The concept of initiation assumes a mutually interdependent, dynamic relationship between the individual and community that claims to be justified on cognitive, moral and practical grounds. Although Peters' analysis is embedded in a different discourse, his insights are relevant to current discourse on the individual in community. A fruitful conversation can be developed between Peters' account of the learner’s "initiation" into "bodies of knowledge and awareness" and Alasdair MacIntyre's concept of "practices"; and how both assume a notion of "tradition" within partly overlapping accounts of "community". Secondly, I will consider how "initiation" touches the concept of "social justice as membership" developed by current philosophers, Michael Sandel and Michael Walzer, and what import Peters' analysis has for different degrees of active and passive membership and participation. Thirdly, I will consider Charles Taylor’s "social imaginary" as a contextual framework for processes surrounding "education as initiation". This article does not argue that Peters' concept of initiation cannot be contested at some points but rather that it can inform, and be informed by, the conversation with those who contend that community is itself a good essential for human flourishing.
Descriptors: Individualism, Collectivism, Educational Philosophy, Social Justice, Group Membership, Knowledge Level, Moral Values, Guidelines, Discourse Analysis, Ethics
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A