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ERIC Number: EJ956828
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Mar
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 46
ISSN: ISSN-0091-732X
The Idea of a Public Education
Feinberg, Walter
Review of Research in Education, v36 n1 p1-22 Mar 2012
In everyday language, whether a school is described as "public" or not is determined by the way it is funded and by who is allowed to attend it. Ideally however, a public school should also be defined and evaluated by its unique goal--to renew a public by providing the young with the skills, dispositions, and perspectives required to engage with others about their shared interests and common fate. Yet just what does it mean to renew a public and to engage one another? This article aims to get some purchase on the idea of a public and to see how it can be applied to education. The author argues that the idea of a public education, properly construed, is an important vehicle for civic education in a democracy. He examines the major justification for substituting private, parental choice for a larger public good and shows why this justification is inadequate. He does this by reconsidering the idea of a public value, showing that it cannot be reduced to an aggregate of private desires, and then by distinguishing a number of different kinds of values from one another. These will include what economist call neighborhood benefits, which are the goods that one person accrues as a result of advantages that are given directly to another. (Contains 1 note.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A