ERIC Number: EJ1024577
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 44
The World of Instruction: Undertaking the Impossible
Laverty, Megan J.
Ethics and Education, v9 n1 p42-53 2014
Throughout history, philosophers have reflected on educational questions. Some of their ideas emerged in defense of, or opposition to, skepticism about the possibility of formal teaching and learning. These philosophers include Plato, Augustine, St Thomas Aquinas, Søren Kierkegaard, Martin Heidegger, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. Together, they comprise a tradition that establishes the impossibility of instruction "and" the imperative to undertake it. The value of this tradition for contemporary education is that it redirects attention away from performance assessments and learning outcomes to the ethical, aesthetic, and metaphysical dimensions of schooling. I argue that philosophers of education are uniquely responsible for teaching this tradition so that instruction might be undertaken in the right spirit. To this end, my essay is divided into three parts. In the first part, I explain why instructional skepticism has "not" been prominent in philosophy of education. I follow up, in the second part, by clarifying my choice of the term "instruction." In the third part, I sketch the instructional philosophies that "book-end" this tradition: those of Plato and Wittgenstein.
Descriptors: Educational Philosophy, Educational Methods, Public Opinion, Educational History, Language Usage, Teaching (Occupation), History
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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