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ERIC Number: EJ1137877
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jan
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1478-2103
Educating for British Values: Kant's Philosophical Roadmap for Cosmopolitan Character Education
Hildebrand, Carl
Policy Futures in Education, v15 n1 p20-37 Jan 2017
The UK's 2016 decision to exit the European Union and the discussion surrounding it indicate that public understanding of British identity has important consequences, one way or another. Defining British identity will be an important task in the years to come. The UK government not long ago provided some guidance on the matter of British identity in their requirement that schools actively promote fundamental British values of democracy, the rule of law, individual liberty, and respect of those with different faiths and beliefs. These values are not British in the parochial sense: they are forward-looking, conciliatory, cosmopolitan values. They are meant to structure and guide any commitments to more particular features of what British identity might include. Because they are rational and somewhat abstract, it is not easy to see how they might be cultivated in children (who are not fully rational) or how they might fit together with the non-rational aspects of the human person. Kant's account of education is seen to face similar challenges and is seen by some as unsuccessful in dealing with them. I argue this is not the case and that his idea of education contains a viable and philosophically interesting account of how values like these may be integrated into a theory of education that takes seriously the whole person, rational and non-rational aspects alike. I begin by outlining Kant's conception of rational action before examining three further features in his account: habit, shame, and desire (including pleasure). I conclude by looking briefly at some of Kant's work that reveals how education is oriented toward the formation of a cosmopolitan society with citizens whose duties and sympathies extend beyond the immediate horizon of their local community. I argue that Kantian ethics therefore provides a helpful philosophical roadmap, as it were, for the successful cultivation of cosmopolitan, British values.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Great Britain)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A