The ethics of education policies

Authored by: David Steiner

The Routledge Handbook of Ethics and Public Policy

Print publication date:  November  2018
Online publication date:  October  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201279
eBook ISBN: 9781315461731
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the difficulties that occur when political theorists misrepresent a key domain of human activity – in this case education – by obscuring the core content of that domain. Theorists privilege questions of control – whether by the state or the market – over questions about the nature of education as a distinctive human activity, with its own internal criteria of excellence and claims upon our allegiance and resources. Such theorising creates damage well beyond the academy, supporting near-useless reform agendas and diverting attention from vital needs in primary and secondary education.

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