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My Teaching, My Philosophy

Kenneth Wain and the Lifelong Engagement with Education


Edited By John Baldacchino, Simone Galea and Duncan P. Mercieca

My Teaching, My Philosophy brings together twenty of the most prominent thinkers on education, philosophy, art, and literature to converse with Kenneth Wain and the many facets of his work. It shows how Wain’s passionate engagement with various issues, most prominently philosophy and education, continues to re-generate new ideas and thoughts through his philosophical method. This book gives Wain’s philosophy the attention it deserves and succeeds in continuing an open-ended philosophical conversation with its readers. My Teaching, My Philosophy is a must-read for anyone wanting to get a snapshot on the most recent thinking on philosophy of education.
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12. My Practice, Our Practice

← 185 | 186 → • CHAPTER TWELVE •


Much of my academic work has centered on various conceptions of (educational) theory. Recently I have become interested in the concept of (educational) practice; intrigued by the fact that practice appears to be an even more difficult concept than theory. In one way practice is a commonsensical concept; it is used effortlessly in a wide variety of contexts.1 By and large we take for granted what practice is; and by and large this serves our purposes well enough, especially if the commonsensical connotation of “doing something” is sufficient. We might say things like “in my practice as …” “the therapist has a private practice,” “the assessment practices of math teachers,” and “the department’s practice in such cases is to …” We speak about good practice, best practice, malpractice, practices that can be changed and improved. But what is it, that which is “mine,” which is “good,” and can be “improved”? No great misunderstandings seem to occur in our talk about practice, despite the fact that the concept, as Wilfred Carr (1995) points out, has a plethora of meanings (p. 64). That might be because we, at some level, share an understanding of practice as a kind of phenomenon that can intelligibly be talked of as “mine,” “private,” “good,” and “improvable.” Carr furthermore suggests that any search for a unified definition will be futile since the concept simply does not have the unity that is necessary for any kind of definitive meaning to be had.

Carr may be right that “practice...

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