Studies in Philosophy and Education 29 (6):523-540 (2010)
AbstractHere I shine light on the concept of and call for safe space and on the implicit argument that seems to undergird both the concept and the call, complicating and problematizing the taken for granted view of this issue with the goal of revealing a more complex dynamic worthy of interpretive attention when determining educational response. I maintain that the usual justification for safe space covers rather than clarifies the logic of safe space and makes it difficult for an educator to respond to harassment in a constructive and fitting way. I also claim that calls for safe space can only be properly interpreted—and responded to—when the link between fear and safety is uncovered and deconstructed. In the process, I note that the assumption of “safety” as a “positive condition” for education is problematic and warrants careful consideration.
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