Topic: Philosophy of Education. This course is fairly straightforward. We will read select works from three prominent figures in the philosophy of education: Plato, Dewey, and Freire. Our aim will be to address the following issues and make sense of the connections between them:
- What is the purpose of education?
Are we working to create a particular kind of human being or are our efforts geared more towards societal goals?
- Who or what is educated?
Is everyone to be educated or is the focus on a particular demographic?
What does education act on: souls, minds, consciousness?
- How are students educated?
Is there a primary subject matter, curriculum, or technique being advocated?
What theories of teaching or learning are employed?
- Is there a metaphysics in play informing any of the above items?
Does being committed to a particular metaphysics also commitment one to particular educational strategies?
- Is there an ethics (i.e. position on the nature of the good life) or morality in play informing any of the above items?
- Is happiness a goal of education?
On a more general level, our goal in this course is to become better philosophers. To become better philosophers, I think it is imperative that we become better readers of philosophy. Accordingly, I intend this course to be a lesson in how to construct accounts of texts and in turn how to construct a position on any given issue.
TEXTS: Experience and Education, John Dewey; Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Paulo Freire.