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ERIC Number: EJ1145793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0309-8249
For Example? A Philosophical Case Study of Some Problems When Abstract Educational Theory Ignores Concrete Practice
Golding, Clinton
Journal of Philosophy of Education, v51 n2 p476-490 May 2017
In Philosophy of Education we frequently argue for or against different educational theories. Yet, as I illustrate in this analysis of two articles, in order to maintain the abstract theoretical distinctions, we are liable to ignore the concrete details of practice, caricature the theories we reject and make false distinctions. The two articles that I analyse, one from Golding and one from Boghossian, grapple with the pedagogical theories of transmission teaching, constructivism, pragmatism and Socratic pedagogy, in the context of dialogical philosophy teaching. As a result of my analysis, I first present three examples where the authors have rejected abstract theories based on arguments that I show to be strawmen: These theories would not or could not be adopted in practice. Then, I present two examples where the authors attempt to make distinctions between educational theories which seem sound in the abstract, but which turn out to be false distinctions if we consider the details of concrete practice. My conclusion is that, in these two articles, abstract educational theory is prone to problems when it ignores concrete practice. Although I am presenting a case study, and do not argue that my conclusion is generalisable, I do suggest some reasons why this conclusion might apply more widely to Philosophy of Education. My recommendation is that we be more discerning in our treatment of educational theories and more mindful of the educational practices that they entail. We should acknowledge the practical similarities between different abstract theories rather than forcing caricatured distinctions.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A