Historical And Contemporary Conceptions Of Education

Historical And Contemporary Conceptions Of Education

Modes of understanding couched in terms of binary oppositions are abundant within social theory and philosophy and yet are often regarded as being, at best, overly simplistic. Examples include those of nature and culture, individual and society, structure and agency, base and superstructure, and mind and brain. With the possible exception of the last of these, I think it unlikely that too many scholars would nowadays claim such binaries exist in any stark and concrete sense. And yet, as will become clear, such binaries regularly persist in discourse, if often covertly. One such binarism pervades analyses of the social role and purpose of education, and also of individuals' motivations and desires in engaging with learning. I term this binarism that of instrumentalism and intellectualism.
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