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Philosophical Studies in Education, v43 p26-38 2012

In light of the importance and the potential danger of education during childhood for politically liberal societies, the author has devoted much of his professional career to thinking about and formulating the moral principles that should govern such a society's educational institutions. However, this task cannot be accomplished for all such societies in the abstract because there are many different configurations of politically liberal societies. Therefore, the author has focused on developing moral principles for the United States and possibly for societies that share many similarities to this country. The starting place for such principles is the most frequent considerations that Americans think relevant to their schools--liberty, democracy, equal opportunity, and economic growth. From these considerations, the author has attempted in Social Justice in Education: An Introduction to articulate the overlapping consensus that seems consistent with this way of thinking about schooling. This overlapping consensus consists of four principles for the conduct of public schooling during childhood: (1) Personal Liberty; (2) Democracy; (3) Equality of Opportunity; and (4) Economic Growth. In this article, the author wants to indicate three important features of these principles. First, they do not depend on a complete theory of justice for all of America's institutions because, in his judgment, a comprehensive overlapping consensus does not currently exist in the United States. Second, among the institutions that are not addressed specifically by these principles are institutions of higher education. Third, however, these principles appropriately modified might provide at least a partial basis for an overlapping consensus about higher education in that the general issues with which they deal figure prominently in Americans' conceptions of the purposes of colleges and universities in addition to schools. The real focus of this essay, then, is to consider whether it is possible to begin formulating an overlapping consensus for higher education based in part on the overlapping consensus about schools and in part on the distinctive ways that Americans think about those institutions and on the distinctive functions that they have in Americans' lives. (Contains 8 footnotes.)

Descriptors: Higher Education, Freedom, Social Justice, Political Attitudes, Democracy, Economic Progress, Ethnic Groups, Educational Philosophy, Public Education, Moral Values

Ohio Valley Philosophy of Education Society. Web site: http://www.ovpes.org/journal.htm

Autor: Bull, Barry L.

Fuente: https://eric.ed.gov/?q=a&ft=on&ff1=dtySince_1992&pg=2630&id=EJ1000285

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