PHIL 3260 Philosophy of Education
Philosophers tend to ask the same types of questions about education that we all ask, questions like: What is education, and what are its values and purposes? How has education changed and what changes should we work toward? What types of power dynamics occur in U.S. classrooms, and what types of power are integral to education? How, after all, does a person become educated? What does it mean to teach others? Etc. Recent philosophers like John Dewey, Nel Noddings, bell hooks, and Paulo Friere, try to answer these questions by focusing on issues of equality, freedom, gender, race, ethnicity, class, and ability. Less recent philosophers, like Plato, Locke, and Rousseau, try to answer these questions by focusing upon the development of whole person, regardless of who that person might be. All of their ideas and insights encourage us to engage with our own assumptions about education and its professional practices in the 21st century.