Knowledge in Education
Why Philosophy Matters
In recent years ideas about education have polarized: on one side are those stressing facts and disciplines; on the other, those committed to the encouragement of learners to make their own meaning. By offering a fine-grained account of pedagogic practice and subject knowledge, recent developments in philosophy provide a means of reconfiguring the issue in a manner that transcends this simple opposition.
Professor Jan Derry draws on the work of the neo-Hegelian philosopher Robert Brandom, termed inferentialism, to re-examine questions concerning knowledge that have preoccupied teachers, educational researchers and policymakers. Considerations about the nature of knowledge and understanding involve conceptions of mind, meaning, and activity. Common conceptions are challenged by adopting a Vygotskian approach to both pedagogic practice and knowledge, one that emphasizes the significance of normative constraints for both teachers and learners.