Kenneth Wain and the Lifelong Engagement with Education
15. Initiating a Different Kind of Conversation between Philosophy of Education and Educators
Philosophers of education in particular seem to be in a permanent quandary. On the one hand they are sensitive to the potential criticism of philosophical quality of their work by other philosophers. On the other, they are enjoined by those practitioners who care, to make it more “practical.” (Wain, 1992, p. xv)
The permanent quandary that Kenneth Wain refers to questions our identity, as René Arcilla (2002) wrote. Working in a School of Education that focuses mostly on initial teacher education, we are not only questioned by the student teachers on the relevance (Burbules, 2002, p. 351) that philosophy of education plays in their formation. We have also been faced by queries, sometimes couched by colleagues in joking remarks, regarding the relevance of philosophy of education to the formation of teachers and to its potential to solve issues with the problem of K-12 schooling. We sometimes find ourselves on the defensive.
The focus of this chapter is to add to the discussion that questions the relationship between philosophy of education and practitioners. The latter often are understood as educators (teachers, support teachers, classroom assistants, and others) as well as policymakers. This chapter will not focus on the relationship of philosophers and philosophers of education.
Following Jacques Rancière, we question the relational split that is constantly reproduced between disciplines, in this case, philosophy of education and practices. We think there might be a possibility to think otherwise about this relationship.
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