On Education Summary

  • Last updated on June 12, 2023
Title: On Education

Author: Harry Brighouse

Publication date: April 2018

Genre: Education/Philosophy

Page length: 312 pages

On Education is a book that explores the philosophical foundations of education. Harry Brighouse, a professor of philosophy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, examines the value of education in both individual and societal contexts. Through an analysis of various educational theories and practices, Brighouse aims to provide readers with a critical understanding of the purpose and goals of education.

The book is divided into three parts. Part One focuses on the nature of education, while Part Two delves into theories of education. The final Part Three examines educational practices and policies.

Part One introduces the concept of education as a lifelong pursuit of knowledge and skill development. Brighouse argues that education is not just a means to an end, but an essential aspect of human flourishing. He emphasizes the importance of developing traits such as curiosity, empathy, and critical thinking skills, which enable individuals to engage with the world in a meaningful way.

In Part Two, Brighouse delves into theories of education, examining the philosophical perspectives that inform educational practices. He explores the works of influential philosophers such as John Rawls, Amartya Sen, and Martha Nussbaum, among others. Brighouse argues that educational theories must be grounded in a commitment to social justice and equal opportunities for all. He critiques theories that prioritize individual achievement over communal well-being, and highlights the need for a more holistic approach to education that takes into account the social and economic context in which it is embedded.

Part Three of the book examines current educational practices and policies. Brighouse provides a critical analysis of various educational systems, including public and private schools, homeschooling, and charter schools. He considers the role of technology and standardized testing in shaping educational practices and evaluates the impact of policies such as school choice and teacher accountability measures. Brighouse argues that educational practices and policies must be designed with a focus on equity and accessibility for all students, rather than catering to the needs of certain privileged groups.

Throughout the book, Brighouse emphasizes the importance of developing a critical perspective on educational practices. He encourages readers to question the assumptions underlying educational theories and policies, and to consider the impact of these practices on marginalized communities. Brighouse argues that education must be a collaborative effort, involving teachers, parents, students, and community members in the process of designing and implementing educational practices.

Overall, On Education is a thought-provoking exploration of the philosophical foundations of education. Brighouse challenges readers to critically examine their own assumptions about education and to consider the ways in which education can be used to promote individual and societal well-being. The book is relevant to anyone interested in the field of education, from teachers and policymakers to students and parents.

Categories: Books