On being authentic

By Natalie Woods

When I recorded this video I didn’t have the philosophy of education in mind. However, I think some of the themes discussed will be relevant to anyone interested in education.

On being authentic

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Teaching Philosophy in Schools

A Socratic Dialogue
By BRENT SILBY

Click here to download the PDF version for reading in page-by-page format

Background

Over recent years there has been a growing movement pushing for the inclusion of Philosophy in schools.[1]

As a subject, Philosophy is broad. It can be separated into many sub-disciplines such as Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mind, Ethics, and Philosophy of Science, to name a few. These sub-disciplines reduce back to three broad pillars of Philosophy: Epistemology, Metaphysics, and Axiology.

Regardless of where one’s philosophical interest sits, the essential skill set remains the same. This is the ability to reason. Philosophers produce rationally convincing arguments and critically assess the arguments of others.

In this fictional dialogue Socrates meets with Allison Fells, the Principal of Western Heights School, to discuss the inclusion of Philosophy in the school curriculum. Socrates has been running a successful Philosophy club at school and believes that students would benefit through the extension of the club into the regular school curriculum. Socrates argues that Philosophy equips students with the skill set needed to live the good life.

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Chapter One: Art and Education

By Natalie Woods

By 2016, in many of the world’s most affluent societies, the utopian impulse had been extinguished. Utopianism was viewed as naïve, a relic of the past, affiliated with brutal, post war regimes. Cynicism was embedded deeply in education, where there had been a move away from idealistic visions of what it meant to be educated, or what it meant to pursue ‘the good life’, towards policies and practices that were grounded in a language of scientific certainty, and economic efficiency.

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John Dewey: Experience and education

By Richard McCance

For the educationalists out there, this may be a simple refresher but for those not familiar with this important educational philosopher I hope this is a helpful introduction to some very relevant ideas.

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What does it mean to be an educated person? An historical overview.

By Natalie Woods

Introduction

Plato, Aristotle, and Rousseau associated the aims of education with beliefs about society, reason and emotion, and knowledge and freedom. Their treatment of these themes profoundly influenced ideals of the ‘educated person’ that emerged in the West during the 19th century. A review of literature published since the late 19th century revealed that these ideals generally fell into one of four broad categories: the rational individual; the worker; the explorer; and, the critical intellectual. Each vision made assumptions about society, human nature, knowledge, and freedom. This review outlines those visions, discusses the tensions between them, and analyses the influence they have had on contemporary educational thought and policy in New Zealand.

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Citizenship and the Philosophy of Education

By Richard McCance
In her wide ranging analysis of citizenship education in Aotearoa New Zealand, Carol Mutch (2013) stresses that school decision-making should rest upon “a strong philosophical base” (pp 59, 62) when considering theories and pedagogies to inform practice. The contentious nature of citizenship in the Western Liberal tradition and Aotearoa NZ’s unique bicultural heritage require we establish a clear and widely accepted definition of citizenship. Dialogue is needed to facilitate better understanding of what citizenship is and how it is practiced. A revised understanding of our collective conception of citizenship would then necessitate further discourse into the meaning and purpose of education in Aotearoa New Zealand.

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Innovative Learning Environments: A critique

By Richard McCance

Media attention in New Zealand has recently focused on the current Ministry of Education policy of redesigning schools along the lines of Innovative Learning Environments (also known as Modern Learning Environments or Open Plan Learning Spaces). This attention is important and more people need to be aware of the factors driving this change and the expectations and assumptions that underlie this policy.

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