There is a loud and persistent drum beat of support for schools, for citizenship, for diversity and inclusion, and increasingly for labor market readiness with very little critical attention to the assumptions underlying these agendas, let alone to their many internal contradictions. Accordingly, in this book I examine the philosophical, motivational, and practical challenges of education theory, policy, and practice in the twenty-first century. As I proceed, I do not neglect the historical, comparative international context so essential to better understanding (...) where we are, as well as what is attainable in terms of educational justice. I argue that we must constructively critique some of our most cherished beliefs about education if we are to save the hope of real justice from the rhetoric of imagined justice. (shrink)
Whatever the merits idealized liberal accounts of citizenship education may have in the seminar room, in this essay I argue that they are both unpersuasive and ineffectual. This is the case, because they are insufficiently attentive to the empirical realities, first (a) with respect to how real – versus imaginary – school systems function; and second, (b) with respect to the broader political context in which citizenship education policies are implemented. Because so much is already known about the former, I (...) devote more attention in this essay to the latter. (shrink)
In this book I offer a critical, comparative and empirically-informed defense of Islamic schools in the West. To do so I elaborate an idealized philosophy of Islamic education, against which I evaluate the situation in three different Western countries. I examine in details notions of cultural coherence, the scope of parental authority v. a child's interests, as well as the state's role in regulating religious schools. Further, using Catholic schools as an analogous case, I speculate on the likely future of (...) Western Islamic schools. (shrink)
When are we morally obligated as a society to help the homeless, and is coercive interference justified when help is not asked for, even refused? To answer this question, we propose a comprehensive taxonomy of different types of homelessness and argue that different levels of autonomy allow for interventions with varying degrees of pressure to accept help. There are only two categories, however, where paternalism proper is allowed, be it heavily qualified. The first case is the homeless person with severely (...) diminished autonomy as a result of mental illness, and the second case is the homeless person who runs a risk of serious and imminent harm to self. In the first case, namely, that of soft paternalism, we argue that coercive intervention in the case of a refusal to accept help should be focused on the provision of housing that meets basic needs—needs that we outline in the article. In the case of imminent and severe harm to self, the case of hard paternalism, we argue that forced intervention can only be allowed if it is temporary and local, namely focused on getting someone out of harm’s way. (shrink)
The issue of voting rights for older children has been high on the political and philosophical agenda for quite some time now, and not without reason. Aside from principled moral and philosophical reasons why it is an important matter, many economic, environmental, and political issues are currently being decided—sometimes through indecision—that greatly impact the future of today’s children. Past and current generations of adults have, arguably, mortgaged their children’s future, and this makes the question whether (some) children should be granted (...) the right to vote all the more pressing. Should (some) children be given the right to vote? Moreover, does the answer to this question depend on civic education, on whether children have been deliberately prepared for the exercise of that right? These are the questions that will occupy us in this article. Our answer to the first will be that older children—children roughly between 14 and 16 years of age1—ought to be given the right to vote. (shrink)
In this article I argue that while an attachment to one's country is both natural and even partially justifiable, cultivating loyal patriotism in schools is untenable insofar as it conflicts with the legitimate aims of education. These aims include the epistemological competence necessary for ascertaining important truths germane to the various disciplines; the cultivation of critical thinking skills ; and developing the capacity for economic self‐reliance. I argue that loyal patriotism may result in a myopic understanding of history, an unhealthy (...) attitude of superiority relative to other cultures, and a coerced sense of attachment to one's homeland. (shrink)
For many, it is far from clear where the prerogatives of parents to educate as they deem appropriate end and the interests of their children, immediate or future, begin. In this article I consider the educational interests of children and argue that children have an interest in their own well-being. Following this, I will examine the interests of parents and consider where the limits of paternalism lie. Finally, I will consider the state's interest in the education of children and discuss (...) a familiar view that argues that we have a central obligation to cultivate good citizens. The article will focus on the tensions which inevitably arise from the sometimes conflicting interests between them. (shrink)
In this article we challenge the notion that diversity serves as a good proxy for educational justice. First, we maintain that the story about how diversity might be accomplished and what it might do for students and society is internally inconsistent. Second, we argue that a disproportionate share of the benefits that might result from greater diversity often accrues to those already advantaged. Finally, we propose that many of the most promising and pragmatic remedies for educational injustice are often rejected (...) by liberal proponents of “diversity first” in favor of remedies that in most cases are practically impossible, and often problematic on their own terms. We argue that schools that are by geography and demography not ethnically or socioeconomically diverse still can successfully confront the obstacles that their students face in creating a life they have reason to value. (shrink)
In this paper we examine the role the Dutch gymnasium continues to play in the institutional maintenance of educational inequality. To that end we examine the relational and spatial features of state-sponsored elite education in the Dutch system: the unique identity the gymnasium seeks to cultivate; its value to its consumers; its geographic significance; and its market position amidst a growing array of other selective forms of schooling. We argue that there is a strong correlation between a higher social class (...) background and the concern to transmit one’s cultural habitus. We further speculate on the moral implications of state-sponsored elite education, both as it concerns the specific role of the gymnasium in the reproduction of social inequality as well as the curious tendency among its supporters to rationalise the necessity of its existence. (shrink)
In order for democratic deliberative interactions in educational settings to fruitfully occur, certain favorable conditions must obtain. In this chapter I chiefly concern myself with one of these putative conditions, namely that of school integration, believed by many liberal scholars to be necessary for consensus-building and legitimate decision-making. I provide a critical assessment of the belief that integration is a necessary facilitative condition for democratic deliberation in the classroom. I demonstrate that liberal versions of democratic deliberation predicated on this condition (...) are puzzlingly inattentive both to the inevitability of segregation, as well as the inequities occasioned by ‘school integration’. I then move to probe the possibilities for democratic education in the absence of integration. I argue that neither the possibilities for deliberation nor the cultivation of civic virtue turn on an environment being ‘integrated’. Indeed some kinds of segregation may be more conducive to fostering both deliberation and civic virtue. (shrink)
In this paper we aim to demonstrate the enormous ethical complexity that is prevalent in child obesity cases. This complexity, we argue, favors a cautious approach. Against those perhaps inclined to blame neglectful parents, we argue that laying the blame for child obesity at the feet of parents is simplistic once the broader context is taken into account. We also show that parents not only enjoy important relational prerogatives worth defending, but that children, too, are beneficiaries of that relationship in (...) ways difficult to match elsewhere. Finally, against the backdrop of growing public concern and pressure to intervene earlier in the life cycle, we examine the perhaps unintended stigmatizing effects that labeling and intervention can have and consider a number of risks and potential harms occasioned by state interventions in these cases. (shrink)
In this book I argue that school integration is not a proxy for educational justice. I demonstrate that the evidence consistently shows the opposite is more typically the case. I then articulate and defend the idea of voluntary separation, which describes the effort to redefine, reclaim and redirect what it means to educate under preexisting conditions of segregation. In doing so, I further demonstrate how voluntary separation is consistent with the liberal democratic requirements of equality and citizenship. The position I (...) defend is not opposed to integration but rather is a justified response to the daily experience of frustration and disappointment with a system that has failed members of marginalized groups for too long. I argue that most voluntary separation experiments in education, far from being motivated by a sense of racial, cultural or religious exclusion, are in fact driven among other things by a desire for a quality education, not to mention community membership and self respect. As such, voluntary separation represents a morally robust pragmatic strategy that is able to answer liberal challenges concerning involuntary stratification, ethnocentrism and democratic deliberation. (shrink)
Het idee dat burgerschapsonderwijs noodzakelijkerwijs democratisch is omdat ze door een democratische staat wordt georganiseerd, is een bedenkelijke assumptie. Veronderstellen dat goed burgerschap overigens beperkt kan blijven tot een reeks van ‘meetbare’ kenniscomponenten (bv. kennis van presidenten, koningen), overtuigingen (bv., ‘er zijn mensenrechten’) en ‘competenties’ (bv. ‘kunnen omgaan met meningsverschillen’) is niet enkel een karikatuur maken van de democratie zelf, maar getuigt evenzeer van een democratisch paternalisme.
In this paper we provide a defence of cosmopolitanism from a liberal perspective, examining its moral underpinnings, including moral obligations predicated on a belief in common humanity and the fundamental dignity of human people, cultural capacities that include an embrace of pluralism and a fallibilist disposition, and pragmatist resolve in finding humanitarian solutions to real problems that people face. We also scrutinise the ideal of cosmopolitanism by considering the ‘deeply religious’ as the sort of people about whom it may be (...) said that irreconcilable tensions exist between certain types of commitment and/or belonging and what the demands of cosmopolitanism involve. (shrink)
Strategies for tackling educational inequality take many forms, though perhaps the argument most often invoked is school integration. Yet whatever the promise of integration may be, its realization continues to be hobbled by numerous difficulties. In this paper we examine what many of these difficulties are. Yet in contrast to how many empirical researchers frame these issues, we argue that while educational success in majority-minority schools will depend on a variety of material and non-material resources, the presence of these resources (...) does not require school integration; indeed sometimes the most crucial resources are easier to foster in its absence. To that end, we briefly canvass the evidence from the United States on high performing majority-minority schools serving poor and minority students. Yet because these debates are so contentious in the American context, we pivot away from the U.S. to consider a different country, the Netherlands. We invite the reader to consider an analogous case where racial injustice and educational inequality are just as serious, yet where differences in the state school system might prove instructive concerning how some majority-minority schools choose to respond to existing segregation, but more importantly how educational success can occur in the absence of integration. (shrink)
Many philosophers argue that religious schools are guilty of indoctrinatory harm. I think they are right to be worried about that. But in this article, I will postulate that there are other harms for many individuals that are more severe outside the religious school. Accordingly the full scope of harm should be taken into account when evaluating the harm that some religious schools may do. Once we do that, I suggest, justice may require that we choose the lesser harm. To (...) simplify matters, I focus my attention on the stigmatic harm done to Muslims, and the role that Islamic schools might be expected to play in mitigating that harm. If the full weight of stigmatic harm is factored into the ethical analysis concerning Islamic schools, then I suggest that there are sufficiently weighty pro tanto reasons for Muslim parents to prefer an Islamic school over the alternatives, notwithstanding the potential indoctrinatory harm. (shrink)
In this article we defend a moral conception of cosmopolitanism and its relevance for moral education. Our moral conception of cosmopolitanism presumes that persons possess an inherent dignity in the Kantian sense and therefore they should be recognised as ends?in?themselves. We argue that cosmopolitan ideals can inspire moral educators to awaken and cultivate in their pupils an orientation and inclination to struggle against injustice. Moral cosmopolitanism, in other words, should more explicitly inform the work that moral educators do. Real?world constraints (...) on moral action and the need to prioritise one?s sometimes conflicting responsibilities will often qualify cosmopolitan justice as supererogatory. This fact does not absolve persons from aspiring to see themselves as having the moral obligation to help others in need, while recognising that their factual obligations are more modest in being bound by what they are actually able to do. (shrink)
In this paper we carefully study the problem of liberty as it applies to school choice, and whether there ought to be restricted liberty in the case of homeschooling. We examine three prominent concerns that might be brought against homeschooling, viz., that it aggravates social inequality, worsens societal conflict and works against the best interests of children. To examine the tensions that occur between parental liberty, children's interests, and state oversight, we consider the case of homeschooling in the Dutch context.
In this article we aim to open a new line of debate about religion in public schools by focusing on religious ideals. We begin with an elucidation of the concept ‘religious ideals’ and an explanation of the notion of reasonable pluralism, in order to be able to explore the dangers and positive contributions of religious ideals and their pursuit on a liberal democratic society. We draw our examples of religious ideals from Christianity and Islam, because these religions have most adherents (...) in Western liberal democracies that are the focus of this article. The fifth and most important section ‘‘Reasonable pluralism and the inclusion of religious ideals in public secondary schools’’ provides three arguments for our claim that public schools should include religious ideals, namely that they are important to religious people, that they are conducive for the development of pupils into citizens of a liberal democracy, and that the flourishing of pupils as adults is advanced by encountering religious ideals. We also offer a more practical reason: religious ideals can more easily be included within public education than religious dogmas and rules. (shrink)
I am broadly sympathetic to Dale Matthew’s analysis concerning phenotypic devaluation and disadvantage. However, in what follows, I restrict my remarks to a few areas where I think he either lacks empirical precision, or overstates his case.
In this article I examine two basic questions: first, what constitutes a gifted person, and secondly, is there justification in making special educational provision for gifted children, where special provision involves spending more on their education than on the education of ‘normal’ children? I consider a hypothetical case for allocating extra resources for the gifted, and argue that gifted children are generally denied educational justice if they fail to receive an education that adequately challenges them. I further argue that an (...) adequately challenging education is essential to human flourishing, but that most children can be adequately challenged in schools in ways that promote flourishing without doing so at the expense of other children. (shrink)
An education for cultural coherence tends to the child’s well-being through identity construction and maintenance. Critics charge that this sort of education will not bode well for the future autonomy of children. I will argue that culturally coherent education, provided there is no coercion, can lend itself to eventual autonomy and may assist minority children in countering the negative stereotypes and discrimination they face in the larger society. Further, I will argue that few individuals actually possess an entirely coherent identity; (...) rather, most of us possess hybrid identities that lend themselves to multiple, not necessarily conflicting allegiances. (shrink)
Internationale vergelijkingen vormen een waardvolle bron van inzicht bij het analyseren van maatschappelijke problemen en het beoordelen van beleidsmatige antwoorden op die problemen. Vergelijkend onderzoek levert vaak interessante of nuttige informatie op doordat er verschillen én overeenkomsten worden geconstrueerd, bijvoorbeeld: hoe ‘leefbaar’ is Toronto vergeleken met Berlijn? Zelfs wanneer de definities verschillen en de gebruikte meeteenheden enigszins onnauwkeurig kunnen zijn – bijvoorbeeld “leefbaar voor wie en ten opzichte van wat?” – zijn vergelijkingen leerrijk en aanleiding voor verdere reflectie. Maar internationale (...) vergelijkingen kunnen op verschillende manieren ook problematisch zijn. (shrink)
Many parents cite intimacy as one of their reasons for deciding to educate at home. It seems intuitively obvious that home education is conducive to intimacy because of the increased time families spend together. Yet what is not clear is whether intimacy can provide justification for one’s decision to home educate. To see whether this is so, we introduce the concept of ‘attentive parenting’, which encompasses a set of family characteristics, and we examine whether and under what conditions attentive parents (...) risk loss of intimacy by sending their children to school; or, alternatively, whether they can avoid this risk by educating children at home. What we will determine is whether families who exhibit the specified characteristics are prima facie justified in educating their children at home under the conditions of interest. We argue that, for attentive parents, home education not only promotes greater intimacy, but also provides insurance against the loss of intimacy that may occur under certain conditions when children attend schools. (shrink)
In this paper I examine in detail the continued – and curious – popularity of religious schools in an otherwise ‘secular’ twenty-first century Europe. To do this I consider a number of motivations underwriting the decision to place one’s child in a religious school and delineate what are likely the best empirically supported explanations for the continued dominant position of Protestant and Catholic schools. I then argue that institutional racism is an explanatory variable that empirical researchers typically avoid, though it (...) informs both parental assessments of school quality as well as selective mechanisms many mainstream religious schools use to function as domains of exclusion. I then distinguish between religious schools in a dominant position from those serving disadvantaged minorities and argue that the latter are able to play a crucially important function other schools only rarely provide and hence that vulnerable minorities may have reason to value. (shrink)
Iemand die uiteindelijk voor de PhD-positie wordt gekozen, moet in staat zijn om alle vakjes aan te kruisen. Maar één ding is vrijwel zeker: van een promovendus die de functie aanvaardt, wordt zelden verwacht dat zij het basisidee voor het onderzoek, de opzet, de methodologie of iets anders heeft bedacht. Men hoeft alleen maar trainable te zijn. Tijdens de jaren "onder contract" zal de kandidaat immers waarschijnlijk niet worden aangemoedigd om een eigen intellectueel pad te ontwikkelen, of om een nieuwe (...) en interessante richting in het onderzoeksveld uit te stippelen. In plaats daarvan zal van de kandidaat naar alle waarschijnlijkheid worden verwacht dat zij de ideeën van de promotor napraat en vaak zelfs volledig overneemt. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that self respect constitutes an important value, and further, an important basis for equality. It also argues that under conditions of inequality producing segregation, voluntary separation in the educational sector may be more likely to provide the resources necessary for self respect. A prima facie case of voluntary separation for stigmatized minorities when equality as equal status and treatment is not an option under either the terms of integration or involuntary segregation is defended.
In this article I investigate the extent to which Bhikhu Parekh believes that a person's cultural/religious background must be preserved and whether, by implication, religious schooling is justified by his theory. My discussion will explore—by inference and implication—whether Parekh's carefully crafted multiculturalism, enriched and illuminated by numerous practical insights, is socially tenable. I will also consider whether, by extension, it is justifiable, on his line of reasoning, to cultivate cultural and religious understandings among one's own children. Finally, I will contend (...) that Parekh, notwithstanding his cautious, even‐handed approach, commits several important errors, including conflating the culture of the parents with that of the children and insisting that cultural and religious persons ought to be allowed to defend their views in the public square on religious grounds. (shrink)
In this chapter, I elaborate an idealized type of Islamic philosophy of education and epistemology. Next, I examine the crisis that Islamic schools face in Western societies. This will occur on two fronts: (1) an analysis of the relationship (if any) between the philosophy of education, the aspirations of school administration, and the actual character and practice of Islamic schools; and (2) an analysis concerning the meaning of an Islamic curriculum. To the first issue, I argue that there exists a (...) disjuncture between Islamic educational ideals (as expressed by Muslim philosophers of education), the aspirations of school administrators, and the manner in which Islamic schools operate in practice. Concerning the second item, I argue that Islamic schools, notwithstanding their own insistent claims, must struggle to define what an Islamic education entails that is uniquely distinctive to Islamic schools. Finally, I argue that Islamic educators need to encourage open-minded discussions concerning issues on which there is no settled opinion. I illumine this discussion by drawing upon minority Muslim voices that encourage further dialogue and debate. Above all else, this chapter is an attempt to highlight the challenges that Muslim educators in the West face as they aim to reconcile an idealized caricature of Islamic philosophy of education with the on-the-ground needs of Muslim children socialized in a non-Islamic society. (shrink)
In this article, I make a philosophical case for the state to fund religious schools. Ultimately, I shall argue that the state has an obligation to fund and provide oversight of all schools irrespective of their religious or non-religious character. The education of children is in the public interest and therefore the state must assume its responsibility to its future citizens to ensure that they receive a quality education. Still, while both religious schools and the polity have much to be (...) gained from direct funding, I will show that parents and administrators of these schools may have reasons to be diffident toward the state and its hypothetical interference. While the focus of the paper is primarily on the American educational context, the philosophical questions related to state funding and oversight of religious schools transcend any one national context . (shrink)
In this chapter, I develop a pragmatic defense of critical patriotism, one that recognizes the many personal and social benefits of patriotic sentiment yet which is also infused with a passion for justice. Though the argument is pragmatic given the ubiquity of patriotic sentiment, I argue that critical patriotism is able to reconcile a love of one’s country with an ardent determination to reform and improve it.
Notwithstanding its many successes, African-centred pedagogy (ACP) has been vulnerable to criticism, implicit and explicit, from several quarters. For example, ACP can be justly criticized for not recognizing the general diversity of blacks in America, a “nation” of more than 30 million spread across a tremendous variety of lifeways, locations, and historical circumstances. It also has been accused of abandoning the democratic purposes of the civil rights movement and repudiating its real successes. In addition to the ambiguities of Black identity, (...) many difficulties also attend the conceptualization and implementation of ACP. To examine the various challenges that confront ACP, our essay will be framed by the following three questions: (1) Does the historical context in which many black children live justify the existence of African-centered schools? (2) Does ACP prepare black children to participate in a democratic society? (3) Does the construction of an essentialist racial identity in ACP compromise its mission and success? In response to the first question, we will briefly review the historical conditions and circumstances of American schooling for blacks before considering both the motivations for establishing African-centered schools and the aims of ACP. Efforts to forge a parallel society and to foster Black consciousness and pride, including the establishment of separatist schools, are not new. We will limit our historical overview to the years following the 1954 Brown decision and leave to others the examination of historically unique examples of separate Black schooling that predate the rise of African-centered schools in their present incarnation. We conclude that both historical and contemporary realities do in fact justify some forms of voluntary separated schooling such as African-centered schools. (shrink)
Taking equality seriously means that we ought to consider the ways in which persons are not only unfairly advantaged or disadvantaged from the start – e.g., through genetic inheritance, wealth, or a parent’s educational background – but also how opportunities and rewards that result from these basic inequalities are later exacerbated in the distribution of goods and opportunities. The basic point of equality as a normative principle is not that everyone have similar things or achieve similar outcomes, that would be (...) undesirable both for reasons having to do with individual liberty as well as social need. (shrink)
There are many things that can be done to educate young people about controversial topics - including historical monuments - in schools. At the same time, however, we argue that there is little warrant for optimism concerning the educational potential of classroom instruction given the interpretative frame of the state-approved history curriculum; the onerous institutional constraints under which school teachers must labour; the unusual constellation of talents history teachers must possess; the frequent absence of marginalized voices in these conversations; and (...) finally, the not unlikely indifference - if not outright hostility - expressed by far too many members of the dominant group. For these reasons, we think it best to expand the scope of educational possibilities one is willing to consider. (shrink)
Whilst media and political rhetoric in Britain is sceptical and often outright damning of the (presumed) morals and behaviours of the White marginalized poor, our aim is to explore the conditions under which successful communities are nevertheless built. Specifically, we examine the features of community and stress its importance both for belonging and bonding around shared norms and practices and for fostering the necessary bridging essential for interacting and cooperating with others. In considering what it means to foster a community (...) that acts as a breakwater against the tides of stigma or disadvantage, we pay special attention to what we will call enabling conditions – essential features that communities either can or should be able to provide or that exist independent of communities and are indispensable for accessing opportunities in the wider society. We detail the dynamics of White poverty and exclusion before turning our attention to possible responses to these challenges. In searching for viable responses to stigma and disadvantage, we compare some different typologies of community presently available to the White poor in Britain and examine whether these are sufficient to satisfy the enabling conditions associated with more robust forms of group membership. (shrink)
In dit artikel onderzoek ik of de standaardbenaderingen van burgerschapsonderwijs in de Lage Landen geschikt zijn om jonge mensen voor te bereiden om de huidige politieke realiteiten tegemoet te treden, laat staan om onrecht te bestrijden. Ik laat zien waarom een nadruk op ‘democratische principes’ of de rechtsstaat de status quo waarschijnlijk niet zal veranderen zolang opvoeders er niet in slagen de aandacht voor de waarheid te cultiveren die nodig is om te kunnen oordelen over rivaliserende normatieve claims. Met name (...) op tolerantie gebaseerde interpretaties van burgerschap zullen weinig bereiken in afwezigheid van burgerlijke deugden – vooral moreel oordelen en morele moed – die nodig zijn voor dissent. Dissent omvat minimaal een bereidheid om de waarheid te spreken tegen de macht. Maar het ernstigste probleem betreffende burgerschapsonderwijs op school betreft de legitimiteit ervan, gegeven dat dat onderwijs gebaseerd is op een door de overheid opgelegd curriculum met als doel een gewenste respons op de boodschap ervan op te leggen en te conditioneren. Daardoor staat het per definitie vijandig tegenover dissent. (shrink)
This article argues that while an attachment to one's country is both natural and even partially justifiable, cultivating loyal patriotism in schools is untenable insofar as it conflicts with the legitimate aims of education. These aims include the epistemological competence necessary for ascertaining important truths germane to the various disciplines; the cultivation of critical thinking skills ; and developing the capacity for economic self‐reliance. The author argues that loyal patriotism may result in a myopic understanding of history, an unhealthy attitude (...) of superiority relative to other cultures, and a coerced sense of attachment to one's homeland. (shrink)
The ideological interface between Muslims and liberal educators undoubtedly is strained in the realm of sex education, and perhaps on no topic more so than homosexuality. Some argue that schools should not try to ‘undermine the faith’ of Muslims, who object to teaching homosexuality as an ‘acceptable alternative lifestyle’. In this article, I will argue against this monolithic presentation of Islam. Furthermore, I will argue that a narrow view of Islam is neglectful of gay and lesbian Muslims who are particularly (...) vulnerable to the unrepentant hostilities of their own communities. (shrink)
An education for cultural coherence tends to the child's well-being through identity construction and maintenance. Critics charge that this sort of education will not bode well for the future autonomy of children. I will argue that culturally coherent education, provided there is no coercion, can lend itself to eventual autonomy and may assist minority children in countering the negative stereotypes and discrimination they face in the larger society. Further, I will argue that few individuals actually possess an entirely coherent identity; (...) rather, most of us possess hybrid identities that lend themselves to multiple, not necessarily conflicting allegiances. (shrink)
In this essay I question the liberal faith in the efficacy and morality of citizenship education (CE) as it has been traditionally (and is still) practiced in most public state schools. In challenging institutionalized faith in CE, I also challenge liberal understandings of what it means to be a citizen, and how the social and political world of citizens is constituted. I interrogate CE as defended in the liberal tradition, with particular attention to Gutmann’s ‘conscious social reproduction’. I argue that (...) CE in practice does not operate on the bases of non-repression or non-discrimination, and has weak claims for legitimacy. In fact, CE in many forms reproduces social inequalities, and contributes to the expulsion of disadvantaged students from schools and from the ranks of recognized citizens. (shrink)
The aims of liberalism—which is often confused with value pluralism—are routinely challenged by persons whose primary commitments lie elsewhere. In his weighing the pros and cons of liberal democratic states versus an Islamic state, Ahmad Yousif has offered an impressive challenge to liberals, but in doing so has confused the aims of liberalism with the pre-liberal nation-state ideal. In this article, I will challenge his conclusions by demonstrating the competing aims of liberals without conflating them with the liberal state. Yousif (...) is right to draw attention to the inequities of Western liberal democracies, but I will contend that (a) wherever actually existing liberal democracies fail to show tolerance towards religious minorities, it is not the fault of liberalism, and that (b) Yousif’s counter ideal of an Islamic state is less than ideal. (shrink)
In this essay I ask what educational justice might require for children with autism in educational settings where “inclusion” entails not only meaningful access, but also where the educational setting is able to facilitate a sense of belonging and further is conducive to well-being. I argue when we attempt to answer the question “do inclusion policies deliver educational justice?” that we pay close attention to the specific dimensions of well-being for children with autism. Whatever the specifics of individual cases, both (...) an attitude and policy of inclusion must permit parents to choose pragmatic alternatives, i.e., different learning environments, if educational justice is to remain the overriding goal. (shrink)
One cannot adequately understand the persistence of the achievement gap, Darby and Rury argue, until one knows and understands the history that continues to inflict all varieties of dignitary harm on Black people. The authors deploy the phrase, ‘color of mind’, to describe the deeply embedded attitudinal and institutional norms that diminish the intellect, character, and conduct of Black students – norms with a long history that continue to poison the school system. There is, of course, no dearth of American (...) scholarship on these themes, and the reader may be forgiven for thinking she will encounter little that isn’t already known. Fortunately, however, the tack the authors take deviates in several important ways from most scholarship. (shrink)
Selection within the educational domain breeds a special kind of suspicion. Whether it is the absence of transparency in the selection procedure, the observable outcomes of the selection, or the criteria of selection itself, there is much to corroborate the suspicion many have that selection in practice is unfair. And certainly as it concerns primary and secondary education, the principle of educational equity requires that children not have their educational experiences or opportunities determined by their postcode, their ethnic status, first (...) language, or family wealth. Indeed educational opportunities determined by unearned advantage or disadvantage offend against basic notions of fairness. But are public schools even permitted to select their students, and if so, how can selection procedures used by schools be best structured to achieve equitable ends? In this article we delineate, describe, and defend what we believe are the essential features of selection and also why we need to pay equal attention to both the outcomes and the processes leading to those outcomes. Provided the selection is motivated and guided by the right reasons, as well as appropriately monitored, we argue that selection can be equity promoting. (shrink)
Notwithstanding some merits of Anderson's celebrated book, in this review essay I argue why she is wrong about integration being a proxy for justice. I offer a number of criticisms, not least of which her cherry picking the empirical evidence in order to make her argument; the absence of social class in her analysis of racial inequality, and thus her unhelpful homogenizing of 'black America'; and finally her perhaps unintentional, yet nevertheless very real and problematic, denigration of black space.
It is rare to find a book in political philosophy whose arguments successfully utilize both ideal and non-ideal theory. Rarer still does one find a book in political philosophy that takes seriously the proposition that the oppressed are not merely passive victims to injustice, but rather rational and moral agents, capable of making meaningful and informed choices concerning those things they have reason to value. Dark Ghettos does both.
In this paper, we offer a Leftist critique of standard liberal defenses of the public school. We suggest that the standard arguments employed by mainstream liberal defenders of the public school are generally inadequate because they fail to provide a credible representation of their historical object, let alone effective remedies to our current problems. Indeed, many of these narratives, in our view, are grounded in fantasies about what public schools, or teaching and learning, are or could be, as much as (...) they are grounded in the historical realities of public schools or the realities of so-called privatization. We speculate whether the self identification of the proponents of this cause as ‘progressive’ is not part of this ideological construction and if the underlying political agenda is not in fact more conservative. (shrink)
In this essay I defend the following prima facie argument: civic virtue is not dependent on integration and in fact may be best fostered under conditions of segregation. I demonstrate that civic virtue can and does take place under conditions of involuntary segregation, but that voluntary separation—as a response to segregation—is a more effective way to facilitate it. While segregation and disadvantage commonly coexist, spatial concentrations, particularly when there is a strong voluntary aspect present, often aid in fostering civic virtue. (...) Accordingly, so long as separation provides the conditions necessary for the promotion of civic virtue, integration is not an irreducible good. (shrink)