Voice of Liberal Learning Paperback – 1 Jan 2001
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About the Author
Michael Oakeshott (1901 90) was a philosopher and a political theorist who wrote widely on the philosophy of aesthetics, education, history, law, political philosophy and religion. He is perhaps best known as a conservative political and social thinker.
Fuller is Dean of the Faculty and College and Professor of Political Science at Colorado College.
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Top Customer Reviews
Oakeshott shows wonderfully foresight in this insightful and eloquent treatise. Since written, the UK Government has introduced PSHE and Citizenship into our schools and merged polytechnics with Universities. Universities are now business enterprises feeding skilled individuals into the "knowledge economy" and providing research that must demonstrate its "impact." All education is now measured in terms of the good it produces for the economy and society. The notion that they should be educating people for a more human and pure reason is too epheremal an criterion to satisfy the target setting of management and bureaucratic culture. What we have seen since the writing of this work is indeed education being supplanted by socialisation.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book is a necessary look at the 'conservative' disposition as it sees educational theory. And not conservative in the modern sense of the word, that is, force-feeding students politicized and ideological education that inspires a 'positive' or 'patriotic' feeling, but conservative in the sense that education needs to get back to its roots. For education to be successful, according to Oakeshott, it needs to be largely disconnected from the day-to-day dealings of 'regular' life. It needs to be a safe haven from the real world so to speak.
I will not say much more about this, but as someone who is a fan of John Dewey's inspiring and comprehensive Democracy and Education, this book gave me much to think about i.e. the 'other side' (although Dewey and Oakeshott aren't necessarily directly opposed but that's another story). Progressive or conservative, educator or student, this collection of essays presents itself as a critical 'conversation partner' to a world that seems to be over-flowing with progressive, child-centered curriculum theories and 'practical' educations.
I personally am a huge fan of Oakeshott's style and eloquence, but some, I am told, find it a drudgery to get through his flowery prose. Other than that - absolute must read.