Advertisement

Interchange

, Volume 43, Issue 1, pp 43–55 | Cite as

Transformative Education? A Philosophic-Augustinian Response to the 2010 Albertan Reform Initiatives in “Inspiring Education”

  • Sean Steel
Article
  • 190 Downloads

Abstract

The Alberta Government’s 2010 “Inspiring Education” reform proposals claim to be “transformational” in nature. This paper examines these proposals in light of ancient philosophy and various among the world’s wisdom traditions. Drawing particularly on the philosophic reflections of St. Augustine in his Confessions, it argues that the proposals are neither new nor “transformational,” but part of a long and problematic educational lineage that has its roots among the ancient sophists. As an alternative to the Alberta proposals and “sophist-icated” education, this paper advocates for the incorporation of philosophic or contemplative elements into the school day during which both teachers and students might learn the genuine meaning of school as schole through the practice of pursuing wisdom.

Keywords

Ancient philosophy Sophistry Inspiring Education Alberta Contemplative education Education reforms Augustine Transformational education 

References

  1. Aristotle. (2001). The Basic Works. In Richard McKeon (Ed.). New York: Modern Library.Google Scholar
  2. Augustine. (1961). The Confessions. (R. S. Pinecoffin, Trans.). London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. Bloom, B. (1956). Taxonomy of educational objectives: The classification of educational goals. Ann Arbour: David McKay Co.Google Scholar
  4. Chandler, M. J. & Holliday, S. (1990). “Wisdom in a post-apocalyptic age.” In R. J. Sternberg (Ed.), Wisdom: Its nature, origins, and development (pp. 121–141). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Government of Alberta. (2010). Inspiring education: A dialogue with Albertans. Steering Committee Report to Dave Hancock.Google Scholar
  6. Jaeger, W. (1939). Paideia: The ideals of Greek culture. Vols. I and III. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Kekes, J. (1983). Wisdom. American Philosophical Quarterly, 20(3), 277–286.Google Scholar
  8. Muir, J. R. (2005). Is our history of educational philosophy mostly wrong?: The case of Isocrates. Theory and Research in Education, 3(2), 165–195.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Pieper, J. (1966). In defence of philosophy: Classical wisdom stands up to modern challenges. (Lothar Krauth, Trans.). San Fransisco: Ignatius Press.Google Scholar
  10. Pieper, J. (1995). For the Love of Wisdom: Essays on the Nature of Philosophy. (Roger Wasserman, Trans.). San Francisco: Ignatius Press.Google Scholar
  11. Plato. (1961). The collected dialogues. In E. Hamilton & H. Cairns (Eds.). Bollingen series 71. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  12. Sternberg, R. J. (2003). Wisdom and education. Gifted Education International, 17(3), 233–248.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. The Economist. (2006). “Clever rednecks: It’s not just the economy that is booming; schools are too.” Retrieved February 28, 2011 from http://www.economist.com/node/7945805.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

Personalised recommendations