2018

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Edited by Burgh, Gilbert & Thornton, Simone, Philosophical Inquiry with Children: The Development of an Inquiring Society in Australia, (Routledge : Abingdon) 2018

Philosophy in schools in Australia dates back to the 1980s and is rooted in the Philosophy for Children curriculum and pedagogy. Seeing potential for educational change, Australian advocates were quick to develop new classroom resources and innovative programs that have proved influential in educational practice throughout Australia and internationally. Behind their contributions lie key philosophical and educational discussions and controversies which have shaped attempts to introduce philosophy in schools and embed it in state and national curricula.

Drawing together a wide range of eminent scholars and practitioners in the field of educational philosophy, this anthology, the first of its kind, provides not only a historical narrative, but an opportunity to reflect on the insights and experiences of the authors that have made history. The collection is divided into three parts. The overarching theme of Part I is the early years of Philosophy for Children in Australia and how they informed the course that the ‘philosophy in schools movement’ would take. Part II focuses on the events and debates surrounding the development and production of new materials, including arguments for and against the suitability of the original Philosophy for Children curriculum. In Part III, key developments relating to teaching philosophy in schools are analysed.

This collection of diverse views, critical appraisals, and different perspectives of historical currents is intended to stimulate thought-provoking questions about theory and practice, and to increase general awareness both nationally and internationally of philosophy in schools in Australia. It is also intended to encourage readers to identify emerging ideas and develop strategies for implementation.

Ceder, Simon, Towards a Posthuman Theory of Educational Relationality, (Routledge) 2018

Towards a Posthuman Theory of Educational Relationality critically reads the intersubjective theories on educational relations and uses a posthuman approach to ascribe agency relationally to humans and nonhumans alike. The book introduces the concept of ‘educational relationality’ and contains examples of nonhuman elements of technology and animals, putting educational relationality and other concepts into context as part of the philosophical investigation. Drawing on educational and posthuman theorists, it answers questions raised in ongoing debates regarding the roles of students and teachers in education, such as the foundations of educational relations and how these can be challenged.

Stolz, Steven, Alasdair MacIntyre, Rationality and Education: Against Education of Our Age, (Springer) 2018

Despite Alasdair MacIntyre being known as an academic who has made many notable contributions to a range of areas in philosophy, his thinking on education is not as well-known and/or properly understood by most audiences and readerships that predominantly reside in educational contexts. With this in mind, this book aims to provide a critique of MacIntyre’s thinking about education, and hence commences with a central theme found in MacIntyre’s extensive corpus concerning the fragmentation and disunification of ideas found in our culture and society that stems both from the rejection of metaphysics and what it means to be a human being living within the context of history. According to MacIntyre, part of the problem why this has occurred is due to educational institutions, particularly universities failing to resist the pressure exerted from industry and the state to conform. Unfortunately, this has resulted in a type of intellectual dissensus where the shared conceptions of rational enquiry and the role of reason have been replaced by pluralistic notions of private and personal choices concerning the good, and a disillusionment with reason that is ultimately exhibited as apathy and conformism. In order to overcome this apathy and conformism found in our culture and society, MacIntyre’s educational project is concerned with the cultivation of rationality; however, this is not an easy undertaking because it involves students being confronted with alternative – sometimes rather hostile – rival traditions so they both come to see rival points of view and understand that each tradition, including their own, does not come from a neutral or value-neutral standpoint. To MacIntyre, dialectical encounters between traditions is a crucial starting point of a good education, but for intellectual and academic progress to be made, rational enquiry needs to be grounded in a shared understanding of first principles that aims at truth and rational vindication.

Edited by Hung, Ruyu, Education between Speech and Writing Crossing the Boundaries of Dao and Deconstruction, (Routledge : London) 2018

This unique book explores how graphocentrism affects Chinese education and culture. It moves away from the contemporary educational practices in China of following the Western model of phonocentrism, to demonstrate that each perspective interacts and counteracts with each other, creating a dialogue between Eastern and Western thought.

Chapters explore the consonances and dissonances between the two, problematizing the educational practices of Chinese tradition and proposing a dialectical thinking of post-graphocentrism, based on the concepts of Dao and deconstruction. The volume creates a unique area in the field of philosophy of education by questioning the writing/speaking relationship in Chinese tradition, complete with educational ideas and practices that consider the uniqueness of Chinese character writing.

A pioneering study of its kind, Education between Speech and Writing provides a valuable source for students of philosophy of education, as well as students and academics in the field of Chinese Studies. The book will also appeal to anyone interested in dialogues between Chinese and Western thoughts, especially negotiating between Daoism and deconstruction.

D'Olimpio, Laura., Media and Moral Education: A philosophy of critical engagement, (Routledge : London) 2018

In an age of mass art and social media, the ability to identify reliable sources of information and disregard unreliable ones has become a vital skill. Yet, the educational environment has not kept pace with rapid advances in technology, despite the fact that educating students to engage critically and compassionately with others via online media is of the utmost importance. Media and Moral Education: A philosophy of critical engagement addresses this oversight by demonstrating that the study of philosophy can be used to enhance critical thinking skills that are sorely needed in today’s technological age.

D’Olimpio claims that philosophical thinking skills support the adoption of an attitude she calls critical perspectivism. Critical perspectivism gives citizens the ability to engage with multiple perspectives in a critical and compassionate manner. Drawing upon the work of Martha Nussbaum, who defends the morally educative potential of narrative artworks to cultivate rational emotions such as care and compassion, D’Olimpio applies critical perspectivism to multimedia examples from Australia, the USA and the UK. She further claims that the Community of Inquiry, a pedagogy practised by advocates of Philosophy for Children, creates a space in which participants can practise being critically perspectival. The Community of Inquiry can be conducted with all age levels in a classroom or public setting, making it beneficial for adults, as well as students and children, in shaping democratic and discerning citizens.

This book will be of interest to academics, researchers and postgraduate students in the areas of philosophy of education, philosophy, education, critical theory and communication, film and media studies.

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