Education for a Challenging World

Authored by: Philip Kitcher

Handbook of Philosophy of Education

Print publication date:  October  2022
Online publication date:  October  2022

Print ISBN: 9781032000053
eBook ISBN: 9781003172246
Adobe ISBN:


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During the past forty years, in many nations, policymakers have attempted to steer education to promote national commercial success. Students are to be trained to contribute to technological advances and to succeed in the global marketplace. Defenders of liberal education often protest this trend on the grounds that it stunts individual development. This chapter offers a different critique of “relevant education” as usually conceived, one that emphasizes the environmental challenges confronting our descendants. If those are to be successfully met, education must pursue goals that “relevant education” neglects. Young people need to become citizens, capable of working cooperatively to parry the threats posed by global heating. Turning away from liberal education substitutes pseudo-relevance for the real thing.

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