24 Baseball and
THE PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION deals with questions concerning teaching and learning. After ethicists help us determine what goodness and happiness are, we then must decide how best to help others attain them.
Educational issues naturally lead us to schools and schooling. How should we teach children the skills necessary to be happy? Aristotle believed that other people have an enormous impact on our character training. American philosopher John Dewey published Democracy and Education in 1916, extolling the importance of preparing children to participate in society. Both philosophers agree that social environment directly affects our personalities.
Team sports like baseball can help teach children the values of teamwork, sportsmanship, and friendly competition. But sports can also reaffirm negative values like violence, selfishness, and gender bias. This dual nature of sports highlights the importance of having good role models today.
Baseball has its share of good and bad role models. When Pittsburgh Pirate Randall Simon swung his bat at a fan running the beloved sausage race in 2003, questions about today's role models were rightly raised. In the following debate, Edward A. Sullivan and Graham Harman take on the argument. While Sullivan believes children who had the good fortune to watch Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson had better role models,