‘It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.’ Joseph Joubert
There are many levels and ways of thinking about education and schooling. Much of the time we focus upon operational and practical details, and specific issues of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and accountability. This is both necessary and important, particularly as many people have to deal with the complexities of their particular engagement with the education system on a regular basis. Much less time is given to thinking about the values, attitudes and beliefs underpinning our thoughts and actions, or about who is advantaged and who is disadvantaged by them. Even less time is given to deeper philosophical ideas. Philosophical thinking can help to make sense of how we identify what counts as knowledge, which in turn influences theories about how we enquire and how we learn. It can help to make choices about the ethical codes that direct the moralities influencing our education system. It can help us to make ideologically explicit and informed choices.
The links on this page are a small step towards thinking about the bigger picture in order that we don’t lose sight of it when we are making decisions about small details.
The following RSA animated talks are also pertinent to thinking about education, schooling and society.