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This paper takes lessons and directions from Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of Freedom (1998) that both inform the theme of Dialogue and Difference and a particular conception of ethical teacher professionality. Freire’s vision of teachers and teaching challenges managerialist notions of teachers as dispassionate, data-driven objects of bureaucratic policy, aligned to a sanitised list of features that make up ‘the effective teacher’. This representation of teachers is unlikely to motivate or prepare teachers in the future to be critical thinking ethical professionals.
An alternative conception of the teaching professional is required, and one is presented here which has strong links to Pedagogy of Freedom in particular, and critical pedagogy more generally. Expressed as ‘ethical teacher professionality’, this account suggests a broader approach to the role of teacher than provided by notions such as ‘satisfactory teacher dimensions’ or ‘characteristics of quality teaching’.
The New Zealand Curriculum (Ministry of Education, 2007) is a policy text whose understanding of teachers is informed by such notions. New Zealand schools engaged in a process of preparation in 2008 and 2009 for full implementation of this revised national curriculum in 2010. The scope of these revisions, expectations of teachers, and the requirement that this implementation be school-based (rather than centrally prescribed) mean that in essence this curriculum goes well beyond a mere revision. Further, as a product of early-21st century education reform which seemingly gives schools, teachers and communities greater flexibility, there are lessons that could be relevant internationally. As a fundamentally new approach to policy, implementation of the New Zealand Curriculum could significantly alter how teachers see and approach their work.
This paper addresses the primacy of reason over emotion in much of Western philosophy and education. It brings Theravadan Buddhist wisdom to bear upon Western philosophical and educational conceptions of emotion, empathy, and compassion. More specifically, it discusses the four Brahmavihāras, or Divine Abodes. These abodes are considered boundless states of heartmind awareness that dismantle the bifurcation of mind/emotion and embody ideals of social engagement and peace. If cultivated, or dwelled in, they can overturn negative and destructive impulses, freeing the mind from greed, hatred, and delusion. They include Mettā, or loving-kindness, Karunā, or compassion, Muditā or sympathetic joy, and Uppekā or equanimity. In some respects, these abodes reflect aspects of contemporary Western understandings of empathy and compassion. However, they also elaborate upon and differ significantly from these understandings. North American learning outcomes, particularly in such areas as English language arts and peace education, seek to support the cultivation of emotional literacy in students with the hopes that such cultivation will initiate and enhance responsive and responsible relations with self, other, and environment. Insight into these abodes can consequently shed light on possibilities for deepening ethical, emotional, and educational engagement in North America.
Complex, risk-generating and predicament-laden patterns of global interdependence pose significant imperatives for radically reframing the purposes and provision of higher education. Changes already ongoing in higher education reflect and respond to global dynamics that are intensifying interdependence and, at the same time, deepening inequalities both within and among societies. Recognizing this is to recognize the need to question whether the arcs of change in higher education should remain passively entrained with globalization-driven magnifications and multiplications of difference, or whether higher education can and should play a unique and critical role in reorienting the dynamics of global interdependence. This paper argues that if current trends toward both institutional and epistemic differentiation can be inflected toward enhancing diversification—rather than mere variation—21st-century higher education can come to serve as a global relational commons crucial to realizing ever more deeply shared and equitable expressions of global flourishing and public good.
In this essay I am concerned with our understanding of philosophical dialogue. I will examine the most prevalent western model of dialogue—the combat model—and suggest some flaws in this model. I will outline concerns as to how standards for what counts as ‘philosophical’ are determined, and use this outline to frame preliminary objections to conceiving of philosophical dialogue as combative. Noting that philosophy is a socially and historically rooted practice, I argue that the view of philosophy as a kind of combat has its origins in features of ancient Greek life. Next, I will look to other cultures and traditions for differing conceptual resources. Specifically, I look to ancient China’s philosophical narrative as one that does not primarily conceive of philosophy in terms of combat. I conclude by suggesting the relevance of this inquiry into methodology for practices of teaching philosophy.
This paper draws attention to the potential pitfalls and possibilities of a new cosmopolitanism. The first part of the paper briefly portrays cosmopolitanism as a name and metaphor for a way of life, an ideal and an outlook. The second part, however, discloses a paradoxical attribution of the metaphor, revealing the ways in which it assumes something which it is not. The third part of the paper further explores the powers of this paradox, arguing that the new cosmopolitanism can be seen as a riddle that surprises, bewilders and educates: The surprise is in the deviation from current and most common ways of speech. The bewilderment happens as the mantra of cosmopolitanism is bringing together logical opposites, jumbling categories and disturbing pre-existing modes of thought. The educational work of cosmopolitanism thus occurs as a violation of the cognitive framework and logical categories generating our very modes of learning. The vital work of the new cosmopolitanism is therefore in the ways in which it creates epistemic ruptures, recasts our mental categories, generates radically new modes of learning, and thus completely new ways of experiencing, seeing and knowing a world of change. But what are the potential pitfalls and possibilities of a discourse jeopardizing the very vision of the social world, and thus the world itself?
On March 27, 2008, Newsweek ran an article titled, “Obama’s Postracial Test: How will the Democratic Candidate Deal with Potentially Divisive Ballot Initiatives Calling for an End to Affirmative Action?” And, the August 6, 2008 issue of the New York Times Magazine featured an article titled, “Is Obama the End of Black Politics?” Since then, writers from the right and left have raised and challenged the idea that the election of Barack Obama somehow signals a new, post-racial era and presidency. But what does this mean for Hawaii? With its unique racial diversity and its connection to Obama, might Hawaii somehow represent the first post-racial state? And, does this mean anything for the way education is run in that state? In addressing these questions, this paper looks carefully at the Obama Administration’s recent education initiative called the Race to the Top Fund and examines its implications for education in Hawaii.
Drawing upon the work of Chantal Mouffe, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Bernard Lonergan, in this paper I develop an argument that, in our work as philosophers of education, we should support a particular form of what Ernst Boyer has termed the scholarship of integration, in part by being explicit both about the tradition(s) of inquiry in which we are working and about the nature of the particular contribution(s) we hope to make to those traditions. It offers five reasons why we should support systematic, sympathetic, agreement-oriented assessments of competing worldviews and corresponding ways of life. It advocates two kinds of “border crossings” as integral to such assessment: engagement across disciplines and fields on the one hand, engagement with rival paradigms within a discipline or field on the other.
Professor Roger T. Ames is Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Hawai‘i, Manoa. The following is a short excerpt from an interview with Professor Ames that took place on the eve of 2009 PESA Conference, December 1, 2009. Heesoon Bai, Editor of Paideusis, accompanied by Avraham Cohen, interviewed Professor Ames in his office.