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However with this said feminism would nevertheless criticise Conflict theory and Marxism for their emphasis on class inequality more than gender inequality....

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As was stressed at the outset, the field of education is huge andcontains within it a virtually inexhaustible number of issues that areof philosophical interest. To attempt comprehensive coverage of howphilosophers of education have been working within this thicket wouldbe a quixotic task for a large single volume and is out of thequestion for a solitary encyclopedia entry. Nevertheless, a valiantattempt to give an overview was made in the recent A Companion tothe Philosophy of Education (Curren 2003), which contained morethan six-hundred pages divided into forty-five chapters each of whichsurveyed a subfield of work. The following random selection of chaptertopics gives a sense of the enormous scope of the field: Sexeducation, special education, science education, aesthetic education,theories of teaching and learning, religious education, knowledge,truth and learning, cultivating reason, the measurement of learning,multicultural education, education and the politics of identity,education and standards of living, motivation and classroommanagement, feminism, critical theory, postmodernism, romanticism, thepurposes of universities, affirmative action in higher education, andprofessional education. The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy ofEducation (Siegel 2009a) contains a similarly broad range ofarticles on (among other things) the epistemic and moral aims ofeducation, liberal education and its imminent demise, thinking andreasoning, fallibilism and fallibility, indoctrination, authenticity,the development of rationality, Socratic teaching, educating theimagination, caring and empathy in moral education, the limits ofmoral education, the cultivation of character, values education,curriculum and the value of knowledge, education and democracy, artand education, science education and religious toleration,constructivism and scientific methods, multicultural education,prejudice, authority and the interests of children, and on pragmatist,feminist, and postmodernist approaches to philosophy of education.

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Siegel marxism critical essays

The different justifications for particular items of curriculumcontent that have been put forward by philosophers and others sincePlato's pioneering efforts all draw, explicitly or implicitly, uponthe positions that the respective theorists hold about at least threesets of issues. First, what are the aims and/or functions of education(aims and functions are not necessarily the same)? Alternatively, asAristotle asked, what constitutes the good life and/or humanflourishing, such that education should foster these? (Curren,forthcoming) These two formulations are related, for it is arguablethat our educational institutions should aim to equip individuals topursue this good life—although this is not obvious, both becauseit is not clear that that there is one conception of the good orflourishing life that is the good or flourishing life for everyone,and it is not clear that this is a question that should be settled inadvance rather than determined by students for themselves. Thus, forexample, if our view of human flourishing includes the capacity to actrationally and/or autonomously, then the case can be made thateducational institutions—and their curricula—should aim toprepare, or help to prepare, autonomous individuals. A rival approach,associated with Kant, champions the educational fostering of autonomynot on the basis of its contribution to human flourishing, but ratherthe obligation to treat students with respect as persons. (Scheffler1973/1989, Siegel 1988) Still others urge the fostering of autonomy onthe basis of students' fundamental interests, in ways that draw uponboth Aristotelian and Kantian conceptual resources. (Brighouse 2006,2009) How students should be helped to become autonomous or develop aconception of the good life and pursue it is of course not immediatelyobvious, and much philosophical ink has been spilled on thematter. One influential line of argument was developed by Paul Hirst,who argued that knowledge is essential for developing and thenpursuing a conception of the good life, and because logical analysisshows, he argued, that there are seven basic forms of knowledge, thecase can be made that the function of the curriculum is to introducestudents to each of these forms. (Hirst 1965; for a critique seePhillips 1987, ch.11.) Another is that curriculum content should beselected so as “to help the learner attain maximumself-sufficiency as economically as possible.” (Scheffler1973/1989, p. 123)

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These essays critically rethink Marxism in the light of the disintegration of communist regimes Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

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