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ERIC Number: EJ865836
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 11
ISSN: ISSN-0305-4985
Education and a Meaningful Life
White, John
Oxford Review of Education, v35 n4 p423-435 Aug 2009
Everyone will agree that education ought to prepare young people to lead a meaningful life, but there are different ways in which this notion can be understood. A religious interpretation has to be distinguished from the secular one on which this paper focuses. Meaningfulness in this non-religious sense is a necessary condition of a life of well-being, having to do with the nesting of one's reasons for action within increasingly pervasive structures of activity and attachment. Sometimes a life can seem meaningless when it is not so in fact. In more extreme cases it may in fact be to some extent meaningless. Equipping young people for a meaningful life is a worthwhile, but not all-important educational aim. Educators should help them not only to see their lives as meaningful but also to lead lives that are meaningful. This involves continuous engagement in the nesting of reasons mentioned above. Where autonomy is also an aim, temperamental attunement to possible options--rather than exposure to all possible options--and time to explore them are important considerations. Questions arise here both about social justice and about whether current school curriculum and timetabling arrangements help or hinder pupils in living a meaningful life. (Contains 2 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