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ERIC Number: EJ739904
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1063-5734
Hard Times: Philosophy and the Fundamentalist Imagination
Allsup, Randall Everett
Philosophy of Music Education Review, v13 n2 p139-141 Fall 2005
A close reading of Gradgrind's opening monologue of Hard Times by Charles Dickens will provide the starting off point for an examination of the role and place of philosophy in the music curriculum. The Gradgrind philosophy finds easy parallel to current thinking in American education. In the fundamentalist imagination, sources of ambiguity must be rooted out--basic skills make adults out of reasoning animals. According to George W. Bush, children should be tested on basic reading and math skills every year, between grades three and eight. Measuring is the only way to know whether all children are learning and he wants to know, because he refuses to leave any child behind. Like Gradgrind suggests, it is the principle on which people brought up their own children, and this is the principle on which they will bring up today's children. Such a philosophy of education proudly combines folk beliefs about teaching and learning with the hard science of thorough assessment. The fundamentalist philosophy of education is a governing philosophy--it is a philosophy for, not with, its initiates. Judgments are passed, not reached; answers are given, not argued. Teachers in this setting--whether willing accomplices or not--define what needs to be known and instruct accordingly. It is an educational method that emphasizes and then measures what is literal. (Contains 11 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