Reimagining Liberal Education: Affiliation and Inquiry in Democratic Schooling (Hardback)
  • Reimagining Liberal Education: Affiliation and Inquiry in Democratic Schooling (Hardback)

Reimagining Liberal Education: Affiliation and Inquiry in Democratic Schooling (Hardback)

Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 26/03/2015
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This challenging and provocative book reimagines the justification, substance, process, and study of education in open, pluralistic, liberal democratic societies. Hanan Alexander argues that educators need to enable students to embark on a quest for intelligent spirituality, while paying heed to a pedagogy of difference. Through close analysis of the work of such thinkers as William James, Charles Taylor, Elliot Eisner, Michael Oakeshott, Isaiah Berlin, Martin Buber, Michael Apple and Terrence McLaughlin, Reimagining Liberal Education offers an account of school curriculum and moral and religious instruction that throws new light on the possibilities of a nuanced, rounded education for citizenship. Divided into three parts - Transcendental Pragmatism in Educational Research, Pedagogy of Difference and the Other Face of Liberalism, and Intelligent Spirituality in the Curriculum, this is a thrilling work of philosophy that builds upon the author's award-winning text Reclaiming Goodness: Education and the Spiritual Quest.

Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
ISBN: 9781441122438
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 648 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 23 mm

Hanan Alexander asks the reader to "...reimagine liberal education in order to make greater room for people like myself - committed at once to the values of an ancient tradition on the one hand and to open, pluralistic, liberal democracy on the other." This sentence captures well the essence of the book, which is not only scholarly but also extremely readable. Professor Alexander takes us on a journey from the "anything goes" ethical culture of the USA in which he was raised to the "nothing goes except this" culture of fundamentalist religion found in some segments of his adopted Israel and elsewhere. He takes us with him on his search for a middle path, grounded in his religious culture, while being as open to difference as the most liberal thinkers. Although this is an intellectual search, coined "intelligent spirituality", it is far from merely cerebral. It is a search that celebrates the richness of the human mind, ever poised between intellect, emotion, sociality, morality and spirituality. * Terence J. Lovat, Professor Emeritus, The University of Newcastle, Australia and Senior Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK *
This book brilliantly challenges us to question the long held idea of rationality as neutral and the current overriding emphasis on the technical dimensions of teaching and learning. With philosophical rigor and nuance, Hanan Alexander invites us to reimagine a liberal education without neutrality, one which dynamically engages diverse ethical traditions and substantive transcendental conceptions of the good in order that we may productively envision and support human flourishing and the enrichment of nonviolent pluralistic democratic societies. Alexander's comprehensive discussion of a liberal education, which calls us to cultivate rather than disavow our human propensity to imagine and interpret our environment in relation to higher ideas and within the contexts of both a practiced wisdom tradition and robust pedagogy of difference, constitutes an original, timely and highly important contribution to contemporary educational theorizing. * Claudia Eppert, Associate Professor, Department of Secondary Education, University of Alberta, Canada *
The author addresses key issues of education: the need for a clear value basis for education and the illusions of neutrality...This is what we need - a true pedagogy of difference! * Friedrich Schweitzer, Professor of Religious Education and Practical Theology, Tubingen University, Germany *
Traversing the borders of religion, philosophy and education, Hanan Alexander presents a timely and impassioned argument for the necessary revitalisation of liberal education as ones committed to both faith and reason, and does so through deft readings of a wide range of thinkers, including Dewey, James and Levinas. Not only does Reimagining Liberal Education take us on a well-mapped intellectual journey, but the writing itself also exhibits an integrity that is rarely seen in educational writing - an integrity that only comes from a place of deep personal commitment. Alexander excels at bringing to life the human element in the tensions between religious affiliation and the demand for criticality a pluralist democracy entails. A real pleasure to read! * Sharon Todd, Professor of Education, National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Ireland *
Although neither a philosopher of education nor a practitioner in moral and ethical education, I found this book worthwhile. Given the debate between atheists and believers, between secularists and people of faith, and between opposing sides on the issue of religion in schools, Alexander provides a way forward that ensures consideration of all aspects of the debate. -- Neil Holm * International Journal of Christianity & Education *

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