ERIC Number: EJ869402
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
Is Educational Policy Making Rational--and What Would that Mean, Anyway?
Educational Theory, v59 n5 p533-547 Dec 2009
In "Moderating the Debate: Rationality and the Promise of American Education," Michael Feuer raises concerns about the consequences of basing educational policy on the model of rational choice drawn from economics. Policy making would be better and more realistic, he suggests, if it were based on a newer procedural model drawn from cognitive science. In this essay Eric Bredo builds on Feuer's analysis by offering a more systematic critique of the traditional model of rationality that Feuer criticizes, a more critical evaluation of the procedural model that he favors, and a recommendation that the situational model he does not consider may have some benefits over both. This analysis shows that the traditional model presupposes an actor that cannot learn or develop. While the actor in the procedural model can learn, Bredo contends that it cannot develop, that is, it cannot outgrow its initial assumptions and values. Only the situational model allows for learning and development, important in a model to be used in the field of education. Bredo also considers in his analysis the social-relational assumptions built into the traditional, procedural, and situational models and the likely ethical consequences of acting on them.
Descriptors: Criticism, Cognitive Psychology, Educational Policy, Economics, Models, Cognitive Science, Educational Theories, Debate, Educational Research
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
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