What Does Philosophy Have to Offer Education, and Who Should Be Offering It?
In this review essay Stanton Wortham explores how philosophy of education should both turn inward, engaging with concepts and arguments developed in academic philosophy, and outward, encouraging educational publics to apply philosophical approaches to educational policy and practice. He develops his account with reference to two recent ambitious projects: The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Education, edited by Harvey Siegel, and the two-volume yearbook of the National Society for the Study of Education (NSSE), titled Why Do We Educate? edited by Gary Fenstermacher (series editor), David Coulter and John Wiens (volume 1), and Mark Smylie (volume 2). These two projects initially appear to be opposed, with the Handbook emphasizing elite philosophy and the Yearbook emphasizing public engagement. Wortham argues that each project is in fact more complex, and that they are in some respects complementary. He concludes by making a case against a simple hierarchy of basic and applied knowledge and calling for a more heterogeneous philosophy of education.