Philosophy of Education

A pluralistic introduction to philosophy and education aimed at cultivating an appreciation of the diverse perspectives, values, and needs involved in the education of human beings around the world---past and present.

Participants are challenged to identify their own beliefs, prejudices, and core values which underlay their perspectives; especially concerning educational theory and practice. At the beginning of the course students draft an informal statement or outline of their own views, which is then revised intermittently throughout the semester in response to the various philosophies discussed in class. By the end of the course, students will refine this statement of their views into a manifesto or essay which not only expresses their own perspectives, but which demonstrates that they have been examined in light of the diverse and even contrary points-of-view explored over the course of the semester.

History of Western Education

A survey of significant developments in the theory and practice of education in the so-called "Western" world, emphasizing in particular the social and cultural contexts of each place and time period.

Conducted as a colloquium, classes consist of open-ended, participant-initiated discussions. Participants write weekly "protocols," or commentaries, about the readings or related topics. One class session a week is dedicated to a multimedia presentation intended to expose participants to various cultural artifacts and artworks which help to give a sense of the ideals and ways of life of the peoples and places being discussed.