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 An Introduction to Philosophy of Education, 4th Edition

`Well written, accessible to students with no previous background in philosophy... an excellent introduction.'

The Times Higher Education Supplement (on an earlier edition)

What does it mean to be well educated? In the fourth edition of this best-selling textbook, the authors introduce students to the business of philosophizing, thereby inducting them into the art of reasoning and analysing key concepts in education.

This introductory text is a classic in its field. It shows, first and foremost, the importance of philosophy in educational debate and as a background to any practical activity such as teaching. What is involved in the idea of educating a person or the idea of educational success? What, if anything, can be known and how should we organize what we know for curriculum purposes? What are the criteria for establishing the optimum balance between formal and informal teaching techniques? How trustworthy is educational research? In addition to these questions, which strike to the heart of the rationale for the educative process as a whole, the authors explore such concepts as culture, creativity, autonomy, indoctrination, needs, interests, and learning by discovery.

In this new updated edition, the authors draw on the latest research in genetics to argue that education is uniquely human and is essentially what develops us as humans. Resisting modern tendencies to equate knowledge with opinion, and value judgements with taste, this book leads the reader into the business of philosophizing and champions the cause of reason in education.

Robin Barrow was previously Reader in Philosophy of Education at the University of Leicester, UK; he is currently Professor of Philosophy of Education at Simon Fraser University, British Columbia, Canada where for ten years he was also Dean of Education.

Ronald Woods was until recently Senior Lecturer in Philosophy of Education at the University of Leicester, UK.

Related titles

Philosophy and Educational Policy A critical introduction John Gingell and Christopher Winch Making Sense of Education An introduction to the philosophy and theory of education and teaching David Carr Spirituality, Philosophy and Education David Carr and John Haldane

The authors are grateful to Educational Philosophy and Theory for permission to make use of some material originally published in that journal.

An Introduction to Philosophy of Education, 4th Edition

Robin Barrow and Ronald Woods

4th edition revised by Robin Barrow

First published in 1975 by Methuen & Co. Second edition 1982 Third edition in 1988 by Routledge

Fourth edition published 2006 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN

Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016

Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business

? 1975, 1982, 1988, 2006 Robin Barrow and Ronald Woods

This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2006.

"To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge's collection of thousands of eBooks please go to eBookstore.tandf.co.uk."

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers.

British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library

Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book has been requested

ISBN10: 0?415?38127?4 (hbk) ISBN10: 0?415?38126?6 (pbk) ISBN10: 0?203?96995?2 (ebk)

ISBN13: 978?0?415?38127?7 (hbk) ISBN13: 978?0?415?38126?0 (pbk) ISBN13: 978?0?203?96995?3 (ebk)


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