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ERIC Number: EJ864311
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 12
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0160-7561
Parrhesia as a Principle of Democratic Pedagogy
Burch, Kerry
Philosophical Studies in Education, v40 p71-82 2009
This essay explores the ways in which the ancient Greek concept of parrhesia, defined as "frank speech and telling the truth as one sees it," can help facilitate the development of both intellectual courage and democracy as a way of life. It theorizes dimensions of parrhesia for the purpose of better educating a civic self-image rooted in this original democratic value, a value which could be seen to represent the symbolic basis of a democratic civic ontology. The author develops parrhesia as a pedagogical motif on several levels: (1) as a moral and intellectual ideal, a democratic teleological project; (2) a form of praxis (with its theoretical and experiential dimensions); and (3) as a dialectical instrument. The author argues that these various levels of meaning justify parrhesia's classification as a principle that can lend coherence and verve to the conduct of democratic pedagogy. This essay is divided into four sections. In section I, the author examines the discursive origins and conceptual boundaries of parrhesia derived from ancient Greece. In section II, the author deploys parrhesia as an educational "gold-standard" against which to measure the absence of democratic and philosophical values within No Child Left Behind (NCLB) as an educational ethos. In sections III and IV, the author interrogates two reigning narratives of U.S. national identity, its official war discourse and the myth of American "exceptionalism." The author concludes by formulating a two part rationale for parrhesia's inclusion into the language and practice of democratic pedagogy. (Contains 28 notes.)
Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Greece
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: No Child Left Behind Act 2001