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ERIC Number: EJ1140343
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2369-8659
Education in Safe and Unsafe Spaces
Callan, Eamonn
Philosophical Inquiry in Education, v24 n1 p64-78 2016
Recent student demands within the academy for "safe space" have aroused concern about the constraints they might impose on free speech and academic freedom. There are as many kinds of safety as there are threats to the things that human beings might care about. That is why we need to be very clear about the specific threats of which the intended beneficiaries of safe space are supposed to be relieved. Much of the controversy can be dissolved by distinguishing between "dignity safety," to which everyone has a right, and "intellectual safety" of a kind that is repugnant to the education worth having. Psychological literature on stereotype threat and the interventions that alleviate its adverse effects shed light on how students' equal dignity can be made safe in institutions without compromising liberty. But "intellectual safety" in education can only be conferred at the cost of indulging close-mindedness and allied vices. Tension between securing dignity safety and creating a fittingly unsafe intellectual environment can be eased when teaching and institutional ethos promote the virtue of civility. Race is used throughout the article as the example of a social category that can spur legitimate demands for "dignity safe space."
Canadian Philosophy of Education Society. S-FG 6310 Faubourg Ste-Catherine Building, 1610 St. Catherine West, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, H4B 1R6. Tel: 514-758-7813; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A