A Dilemmatic Approach to Education  book cover
1st Edition

A Dilemmatic Approach to Education

ISBN 9780367639389
Published September 30, 2021 by Routledge
166 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

A Dilemmatic Approach to Education offers a unique approach to educational theorizing that enriches the way we think about education. Problematizing conventional education theory, it presents an unorthodox thesis that education is defined by an internal conflict between competing core values, which in turn produce core dilemmas.

The book locates the theoretical foundations of a dilemmatic approach in the works of thinkers such as G. H. Mead, Gert Biesta, Luca Tateo, and Etienne Wenger. It then relates this dilemmatic approach to a general theory of education, partly defined as the realization of the 'good', conceived in terms of competing core values. The book uses Schwartz's theory of universal values as a framework for disclosing the core values competing in educational models. The dilemmatic nature of educational leadership (including social justice leadership) is set within the context of leading leadership theories and illustrated through exemplary leadership dilemmas. Lastly, the book identifies ethical self-understanding and communities-of-practice as practically affecting a dilemmatic approach to education.

Presenting an innovative understanding of the nature and meaning of education, this book will be of great interest to academics, researchers and post-graduate students in the field of educational theory and educational research, as well as those interested in a deep engagement about the meaning of education.

Table of Contents


Introduction: inner tensions, dilemmas, and education

Chapter 1: Theoretical foundations

Chapter 2: A theory of education

Chapter 3: Core educational dilemmas

Chapter 4: Educational leadership dilemmas

Chapter 5: A dilemmatic approach to social justice educational leadership

Chapter 6: Ethical self-understanding and communities of practice

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Ariel Sarid is currently Head of the M.Ed. program for Management and Organization of Educational Systems at Beit Berl College, Israel. His research/teaching interests include various themes in the philosophy of education, educational leadership, school organization and curriculum, social justice education, and teacher professional development.


Ariel Sarid writes: The dilemmatic nature of education is a defining feature of any educational process, whether this nature is made explicit or remains implicit in educational theory or praxis. That means: dilemmas are an essential category of consciousness, thought, and action. In other words, Sarid is normalizing confusions, uncertainties and ambiguities, among other wicked problems found in education. In other words, making sense of dilemmas is what educators, both theoreticians and practitioners, are required to do. Each chapter illustrates dilemmas across a wide range of perennial and contemporary issues found in classrooms, schools and societies. Sarid draws upon many different theorists from inside and outside the fields of education to demonstrate his thesis. It is fair to say that none of us – as individual or communities of learners - has just one core value. If true, then why should education?

Ira Bogotch, Professor, Educational Leadership,Florida Atlantic University