Methods in Philosophy of Education

Methods in Philosophy of Education

Methods in Philosophy of Education

Methods in Philosophy of Education

Synopsis

Linking theoretical methods in the philosophy of education with their application in the real world of educating children, this collection of writings focuses on the topical area of children's rights as a basis for investigation.

Excerpt

In the fall of 1998, the Dutch graduate school for philosophy and history of education (the Kohnstamm-netwerk) organised an international symposium in Amsterdam in order to discuss current methodological issues in philosophy of education. The result was remarkable in several respects. Methodological debates resulting from delivered papers showed liveliness that participants had hardly experienced since critical theory disturbed the peace of 'positivist' methodology in the 1970s. Despite the relative silence in the past decades, papers and discussions gave evidence of substantial renewal and progress in the field. However, at the same time, debates as well as very lucid commentaries from participating PhD students made clear that methodological views in philosophy of education still had to be crystallised in some respects - even though philosophers of education remain reluctant to commit themselves to fixed methodological rules for good reason, as this volume demonstrates. A project to publish a book on methods in philosophy of education seemed a good way forward.

Publication of such a book would also serve a second end. Participants were impressed with the profusion of views and insights that philosophers of education from different linguistic backgrounds - especially English and German traditions - mutually had to offer. Despite the growing international character of the discipline, methodological approaches appear to draw on different sources that have by no means run dry. The project could thus give this mutual learning process a new impulse. The combination of editors - from Berlin, London and Amsterdam - reflects this dimension of the project. Contributors were selected to ensure a wide variety of approaches.

In deciding to prepare a book on methods in philosophy of education, we also bore in mind the opportunity to facilitate the training of new researchers in the field. The above-mentioned inclination of philosophers of education to keep their methodological options open excludes any exclusively 'technical' kind of training and demands a specific blend of reflection and practice. Contributors not only describe and justify a certain approach, but also demonstrate its methods of working - thus giving rise to reflection as well as exercise.

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