PESGB is a learned society that promotes the study, teaching and application of philosophy of education. By the end of the course, students will be able to understand the theoretical links between philosophy and psychology and will have knowledge of debates concerning consciousness, functionalism and the computer model of mind, mental causation, and other related topics.
The classic works of Heidegger and Husserl also found new admirers, and feminist philosophers of education were finding their voices—Maxine Greene published a number of important pieces in the 1970s and 1980s, including The Dialectic of Freedom (1988); the influential book by Nel Noddings, Caring: A Feminine Approach to Ethics and Moral Education, appeared the same year as the work by Lyotard, followed a year later by Jane Roland Martin’s Reclaiming a Conversation.
Consisting of a series of essays written by professional philosophers entirely outside the discipline of philosophy of education, the collection cites almost none of the work published within the discipline; because the philosophers have no doubts about the status of the discipline of philosophy of education, they have few qualms about speaking authoritatively about what philosophy has to say to educators.
However, I realise that this is an unfashionable view in our postmodern times of ‘no absolute truths’ – where all knowledge is incomplete, evolving, and relative to some cultural construction – thus teaching philosophy is seen as some abstract and largely useless exercise.
When philosophers of education teach or speak about their views, although they certainly put forth arguments, quotations of and references to literature, and so forth, at a deeper level they are appealing to a shared impulse in their audience, one that is more difficult to argue for directly, and without which the arguments themselves are unlikely to take hold.