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ERIC Number: EJ775216
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 18
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1047-8248
Teaching in the Presence of Burning Children: Attending to Tragedy and Faith in Philosophy of/and Education
Milligan, Jeffrey Ayala
Educational Foundations, v17 n1 p55-72 Win 2003
In a 1974 essay entitled "Cloud of Smoke, Pillar of Fire," Rabbi Irving Greenberg offered the "working principle"--no statement, theological or otherwise, should be made that would not be credible in the presence of burning children--in response to Christian silence during the Holocaust and as a kind of moral plumb line by which post-Shoah theological claims should be measured. As a philosopher of education, the author is particularly daunted by Greenberg's reference to statements "theological or otherwise," for it challenges him to reflect upon the significance of tragedy for secular education and thus engage a centuries-long conversation about topics that have confounded the conceptual nets of far more competent philosophers. But in the light of all that has happened in the past two years, in the shadow of all that happens year in and year out to remind of the realities of Greenberg's clouds of smoke and pillars of fire, he is moved to apply Greenberg's working principle to the enterprise of public education as it is commonly practiced in the U.S. and the claims made about it, philosophical or otherwise. In this essay, he proposes to reflect upon the question of what it might mean to teach in the presence of burning children, and what it might mean to do philosophy of education in their presence. (Contains 41 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A