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The teaching of philosophy and the pre-philosophical curriculum in schools and colleges

Thornbury, Robert (1999) The teaching of philosophy and the pre-philosophical curriculum in schools and colleges. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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Chapter 1 introduces the main issues including those of definition, within a history of ideas context, and explains how the argument will proceed in the succeeding chapters. Chapter 2 considers a wide range of claims and counter-claims concerning the teaching of philosophy and a pre-philosophical curriculum. The transcendental claim that pre-philosophical and higher order thinking are de facto taught in all schools, is combined with other strong claims to make the case for developing a philosophy and pre-philosophical curriculum. Chapter 3 argues the claim from transcendental realism, following Kant and Bhaskar, that philosophical concerns are pervasively present in the curriculum, pedagogy and organisation of schools. Chapter 4 shows how a philosophically-driven pedagogy can be informed by philosophical theory concerning conditionals, counter-factual and possible worlds thinking. Chapter 5 demonstrates the importance of the claims for benefits from thinking and phiosophising in relation to the intellectual and moral dispositions, and the virtues. Chapter 6 examines discussion and practice of the canonical in philosophy and prephilosophy, through a series of comparative case studies. The extent to which the National Curriculum for England and Wales might present a canonical form of the prephilosophical curriculum is examined. Chapter 7 recommends, in practical and theoretical ways, how a strategy for a whole school or college approach to the philosophy and pre-philosophical curriculum can be devised and implemented. Chapter 8 considers particular issues of personal, professional and pedagogic ethics which teachers will need to address. The importance of narrative and philosophical auto-biography is argued. It is claimed that a teacher should be a transformative professional and public intellectual. A concluding over-view envisages prospects for further philosophical and scholarly enquiry, and empirical and public policy research. Thirty-eight Appendices of reference and teaching materials, together with a Bibliography of works referred to in the text and notes, illustrate the argument of the thesis and provide teaching material for teacher education.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Philosophy education
Depositing User: IOE Repository Editor (10)
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 12:12
Last Modified: 28 Jul 2015 15:16
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