Childhood, Education and Philosophy: New ideas for an old relationship, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Childhood, Education and Philosophy

New ideas for an old relationship, 1st Edition

By Walter Kohan


116 pages

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Paperback: 9781138712980
pub: 2017-02-07
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This book explores the idea of a childlike education and offers critical tools to question traditional forms of education, and alternative ways to understand and practice the relationship between education and childhood. Engaging with the work of Michel Foucault, Jacques Rancière, Giorgio Agamben and Simón Rodríguez, it contributes to the development of a philosophical framework for the pedagogical idea at the core of the book, that of a childlike education.

Divided into two parts, the book introduces innovative ideas through philosophical argument and discussion, challenging existing understandings of what it means to teach or to form a child, and putting into question the idea of education as a process of formation. The first part of the book consists of a dialogue with a number of interlocutors in order to develop an original conception of education. The second part presents the idea of a childlike education, beginning with a discussion of the relationships between childhood and philosophy, and followed by a critique of the place of philosophical experience in a childhood of education.

Instead of asking how philosophy might educate childhood, this book raises the question of how childhood might educate philosophy. It will be of key value to researchers, educators and postgraduate students in the fields of education and the human sciences.

Table of Contents

Preface: School and The Future of Schole: A Preliminary Dialogue With David Kennedy Part I. Inspirations for a Childlike Education 1. Teaching as verification of equality: Jacques Rancière and The ignorant schoolmaster 2. The teaching of the courage of living in Socrates and the Cynics: Michel Foucault 3. Nomadism, creation, iconoclasism and popular education: Simón Rodríguez Part II. Philosophy and a Childlike Education 4. Philosophy and childhood. Possibilities of an Encounter 5. Childhood, Education and Philosophy: Notes on Deterritorialization. 6. Plato and Socrates: From an Educator of Childhood to a Childlike Educator? Afterword: "The pedagogue and / or the philosopher? Thinking with Jan Masschelein"

About the Author


Walter Omar Kohan

Rio de Janeiro, rio de janeiro, Brazil

Learn more about Walter Omar Kohan >>

Walter Kohan is Professor of Philosophy of Education at the State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He is also a Researcher at the National Council of Scientific and Technological Research of Brazil (CNPQ) and the Carlos Chagas Filho Research Support Foundation (FAPERJ), and was previously President of the International Council of Philosophical Inquiry with Children (ICPIC).

About the Series

New Directions in the Philosophy of Education

This book series is devoted to the exploration of new directions in the philosophy of education. After the linguistic turn, the cultural turn, and the historical turn, where might we go? Does the future promise a digital turn with a greater return to connectionism, biology and biopolitics based on new understandings of system theory and knowledge ecologies? Does it foreshadow a genuinely alternative radical global turn based on a new openness and interconnectedness? Does it leave humanism behind or will it reengage with the question of the human in new and unprecedented ways? How should philosophy of education reflect new forces of globalization? How can it become less Anglo-centric and develop a greater sensitivity to other traditions, languages, and forms of thinking and writing, including those that are not routed in the canon of Western philosophy but in other traditions that share the ‘love of wisdom’ that characterizes the wide diversity within Western philosophy itself. Can this be done through a turn to intercultural philosophy? To indigenous forms of philosophy and philosophizing? Does it need a post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of education? A postpostmodern philosophy? Or should it perhaps leave the whole construction of 'post'-positions behind?

In addition to the question of the intellectual resources for the future of philosophy of education, what are the issues and concerns that philosophers of education should engage with? How should they position themselves? What is their specific contribution? What kind of intellectual and strategic alliances should they pursue? Should philosophy of education become more global, and if so, what would the shape of that be? Should it become more cosmopolitan or perhaps more decentred? Perhaps most importantly in the digital age, the time of the global knowledge economy that reprofiles education as privatized human capital and simultaneously in terms of an historic openness, is there a philosophy of education that grows out of education itself, out of the concerns for new forms of teaching, studying, learning and speaking that can provide comment on ethical and epistemological configurations of economics and politics of knowledge? Can and should this imply a reconnection with questions of democracy and justice?

This series comprises texts that explore, identify and articulate new directions in the philosophy of education. It aims to build bridges, both geographically and temporally: bridges across different traditions and practices and bridges towards a different future for philosophy of education.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Elementary
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects