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Philosophy of Education

Philosophy of education only became a distinct branch of philosophy in the course of the 20th century, but issues to do with education have attracted occasional philosophical interest as far back as Plato, with later contributions from such diverse major figures as Augustine, Descartes and Kant. In Plato’s Republic the topic of education is linked to that of the good society and the idea that this requires a division of functions with special attention being given to those who will govern the state and to the kind of education necessary for the role. This link between education and citizenship has again become a prominent theme in recent philosophy due to the absence of a unifying religious, ideological or cultural view in society, and the attempt to fashion a notion of liberal citizenship. Until the 20th century issues of the nature, purpose and methods of education tended to be wrapped together in ‘educational philosophies’ but with the rise since the 1960s of analytic philosophy of education the first two have been made the subject of intense discussion. Given its concern to guide ‘souls’ to God, Catholicism has long been concerned with forms of education including obviously spiritual formation, for religious and laity. It is the subject of several papal encyclicals and Vatican documents including Paul VI’s 1965 Declaration on Christian Education Gravissimum Educationis. Education has also been a theme in writings of 20th Catholic philosophers, most prominently Jacques Maritain and Alasdair MacIntyre.

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    Cultivating Civic Friendship in Education

    Hosted on the 14th September 2021, this is a recording of the third webinar in the Centre's Fostering Personal and Social Virtues series, ‘Cultivating Civic Friendship in Education’, delivered in collaboration with The Congregation for Catholic Education, part of The Vatican. This session featured papers and presentations from: Andrew Peterson Professor of Character and Citizenship Education and Deputy Director of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues, University of Birmingham. Nancy E. Snow Professor of Philosophy and Director of Institute for the Study of Human Flourishing, University of Oklahoma. Lieven Boeve Professor of Fundamental Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies, KU Leuven and Director-General of Katholiek Onderwijs Vlaanderen. The webinar was chaired by Aidan Thompson, Director of Strategic Initiatives for the Jubilee Centre, and a Q&A with attendees followed the presentations which was chaired by Dr. Jörg Schulte-Altedorneburg, Managing Director at Porticus. To view the papers given during this session visit: https://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/2971/papers/seminars-and-webinars/cultivating-civic-friendship-in-education For further details on this series visit: https://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/virtues For more information on all Jubilee Centre Webinars, to register for future events and to find recordings of previous sessions visit: https://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/seminarsandwebinars [This event was recorded in September 2021, by the Jubilee Centre, via the Zoom Video Conferencing platform]

  • Four Accounts of Flourishing as the Aim of Education

    Four Accounts of Flourishing as the Aim of Education: A Synthesis – and 10 Remaining Problems – Kristjan Kristjansson Talk given at the 2021 Life Improvement Science Conference Title: Four Accounts of Flourishing as the Aim of Education: A Synthesis – and 10 Remaining Problems Speaker: Kristjan Kristjansson Abstract: In this talk, Kristjánsson discusses the recent flourishing bandwagon in education and explains how it actually comes in four different forms (Aristotelian, liberal, self-determination theory, positive education). He explains the pros and cons of each form and how they could possibly be synthesised. His talk draws on Kristjánsson, K. (2020), Flourishing as the Aim of Education (Routledge): https://www.routledge.com/Flourishing-as-the-Aim-of-Education-A-Neo-Aristotelian-View/Kristjansson/p/book/9780367727970 Learn more about Life Improvement Science: https://www.life-improvement.science/

  • The Twin Ends of Education: The Well-Being of the Community and the Fulfillment of the Individual

    On the 15th June 2021, the first webinar in the series, 'The Twin Ends of Education: The Well-Being of the Community and the Fulfillment of the Individual' took place, which featured presentations from Professor John Haldane, Professor of Virtue Theory at the Jubilee Centre and Professor Candace Vogler, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Chicago. Additional contributions were also provided by discussant, Professor Holger Zaborowski, Chair of Philosophy at Erfurt University and chair of the Q&A session, Dr. Jörg Schulte-Altedorneburg, Managing Director at Porticus. More information on the series, including the papers discussed during the webinars, are available to view below: https://www.jubileecentre.ac.uk/2950/papers/seminars-and-webinars/fostering-personal-and-social-virtues

  • Flourishing as the Aim of Education A Neo-Aristotelian View

    This book develops a conception of student flourishing as the overarching aim of education. Taking as its basis the Aristotelian concept of eudaimonia, it provides a theoretical study of the foundations of flourishing that goes well beyond Aristotle’s approach. Flourishing as the Aim of Education argues that the ‘good life’ of the student, to which education should contribute, must involve engagement with self-transcendent ideals and ignite awe-filled enchantment. It allows for social, individual and educational variance within the concept of flourishing, and it engages with a host of socio-political as well as ‘spiritual’ issues that are often overlooked in literature discussing character education. Each chapter closes with food for thought for practitioners who can directly facilitate student flourishing. An outgrowth of the author’s previous monograph Aristotelian Character Education, this book follows new directions in questioning how to educate young people towards a life of overall flourishing. It will be of great interest to researchers, academics and post-graduate students in the fields of character education, moral education and moral philosophy, as well as to educators and policy-makers.

  • Virtues and Virtue Education in Theory and Practice

    Virtues and Virtue Education in Theory and Practice explores questions about the locality versus the universality of virtues from a number of theoretical and practical perspectives. Written by leading international scholars in the field, it considers the relevance of these debates for the practice of virtue and character education. This volume brings together experts from education, philosophy, and psychology to consider how different disciplines might learn from each other and how insights from theory and practice can be integrated. It shows that questions about virtue relativity or universality have not only theoretical significance but also important practical ramifications. The chapters explore different complexities of virtue ethics and different approaches to nurturing virtue and beyond, questioning how well virtues travel across geographical and cultural borders. By examining the philosophical literature and making links between theory and practice in an original way, the book offers scholarly research-informed suggestions for practice. It will be of great interest to researchers and academics and students in educational philosophy, character education, ethics, and psychology.

  • Cherishing and the Good Life of Learning: Ethics, Education, Upbringing (Bloomsbury Philosophy of Education)

    What is a good human life? A life of duty? Virtue? Happiness? This book weaves a path through traditional answers. We live well, suggests the author, not primarily by pursuing goods for ourselves, but by cherishing other people and guiding them towards lives of cherishing. We cherish objects too – the planet, my grandfather's watch – and practices like music-making to which we are personally drawn. In this work of 'populated philosophy' (copiously illustrated by literary and 'real life' examples), a cherishing life is presented as hard and irreducibly individual. The idea of cherishing, says the author, points towards intimate, unreasonable layers of the ethical life, as well as the deepening of wisdom and connection. It also points towards incomparable satisfactions, reminding us who we are and who we want to be.