1st Edition

Education Reconfigured
Culture, Encounter, and Change

ISBN 9780415889636
Published March 14, 2011 by Routledge

USD $54.95

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Book Description

As philosophers throughout the ages have asked: What is justice? What is truth? What is art? What is law? In Education Reconfigured, the internationally acclaimed philosopher of education, Jane Roland Martin, now asks: What is education? In answer, she puts forward a unified theory that casts education in a brand new light. Martin’s "theory of education as encounter" places culture alongside the individual at the heart of the educational process, thus responding to the call John Dewey made over a century ago for an enlarged outlook on education. Look through her theory’s lens and you can see that education takes place not only in school but at home, on the street, in the mall—everywhere and all the time. Look through that lens and you can see that education does not always spell improvement; rather, it can be for the better or the worse. Indeed, you can see that education is inevitably a maker and shaper of both individuals and cultures.

Above all, Martin’s new educational paradigm reveals that education is too important to be left solely to the professionals; that it is one of the great forces in human society and, as such, deserves the attention and demands the vigilance of every thoughtful person.

Table of Contents


Part I: A Unified Theory of Education

1. Education as Encounter

2. The Deep Structure of Educational Thought

3. Repopulating the Educational Realm

Part II: Implications

4. Education as a Maker of Individuals and Cultures

5. Culture as Curriculum

6. Educativeness as a Virtue of Institutions and Cultures

Part III: Applications

7. Making Democratic Citizens

8. The "Woman Question" in Higher Education

9. What School Can and Cannot Do


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Jane Roland Martin is Professor of Philosophy, Emerita, University of Massachusetts Boston.


"For generations, scholars have reminded us that ‘education’ is much larger than ‘school’--and that both are deeply influenced by ‘culture.’ But Jane Roland Martin has brought these concepts together in a new and dynamic way. A tour de force by one of the most insightful educators of our time."

--Jonathan Zimmerman, Professor and Director of the History of Education Program, Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development, New York University

"Education Reconfigured does for the concept of ‘encounter’ what Dewey did with ‘experience,’ enlarging our vocabulary for interpreting what ‘education’ means." 

--Steve Tozer, Professor, College of Education, University of Illinois at Chicago

"For those of us who spend far too many of our waking hours on current education reform debates, Education Reconfigured is a wonderful invitation to step back and ask larger and more important questions that we have not asked before: What sorts of encounters and transformational experiences do we want to foster today---in and out of school---that will help develop thoughtful and democratic citizens for tomorrow?"

--James W. Fraser, Professor, New York University, and Senior Vice President for Programs, Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation

"Overall, the subject matter is important, the ideas are relevant, and the presentation is clear and convincing. The argument will especially benefit advanced teacher-education students and graduate students. Recommended."—Choice