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The Moral and Ethical Aims of the School Viewed Through a Cosmopolitan Prism


by David T. Hansen ó 2013

In this chapter, the author proposes to imagine the aims of the school in light of a cosmopolitan philosophy of education. The first section that follows provides a summary account of what the author takes cosmopolitanism to mean. The second section frames a philosophy of education that stems from this account. The third and penultimate section sketches a conception of the school and its moral and ethical aims in light of this philosophy of education. The discussion will foreground normative ideals. Such ideals can be dangerous if they blind people to realities. They can be disappointing if failure to attain them weighs down hard on people. But if ideals are understood as sources of direction rather than as destinations, they can assist educators to sustain their course in the face of obstacles. The authorís core purpose here is to highlight why a cosmopolitan orientation can inspire, encourage, and help guide educators in realizing schools for our time.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 112. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 115 Number 13, 2013, p. 197-215
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18326, Date Accessed: 7/20/2017 4:36:41 PM

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About the Author
  • David Hansen
    Teachers College, Columbia University
    E-mail Author
    DAVID T. HANSEN is the Weinberg Professor in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, where he also serves as Director of the Program in Philosophy and Education. He has written widely on the work of teachers including in books such as The Call to Teach (1995) and Exploring the Moral Heart of Teaching (2001). In recent years he has been examining the relation between cosmopolitanism and education. Hansen is a Past-President of the John Dewey Society and of the Philosophy of Education Society (North America), and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association.
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