Egan challenges the notion that schools can simultaneously meet the different aims expected of them which are to develop the individual, to socialise the individual and to prepare him or her for a vocation. He describes the philosophical roots of these aims then proposes rather that schools ought to develop different kinds of cognitive understanding. He imagines a fifty year implementation trajectory of his ideas.
Egan's analysis of the current state of schooling and of the roots of some of the problems is sound. He draws however, more on philosophy and psychology than he does on sociology and political science. One can easily imagine a situation in which his ideas were fully implemented yet there still existed deep divisions in terms of attainment and achievement by young people broadly following class structures. One could also imagine deep political resistance to the implentation of a schooling system that does not explicitly address the needs of employers.
That said Egan's proposals offer an clearly thought through alternative to the constant battles over education being raged in most developed states.
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