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Prologue: Renewing the Conversation


by David Coulter & John R. Wiens — 2008

Why do we educate? has preoccupied us for much of our careers as educators working in schools and universities over the last forty years. Long ago we accepted the privilege—and the accompanying responsibility—of contributing to the lives of other people, but have consistently grappled with understanding the nature and assessing the goodness of that contribution. We have benefited enormously by reading the work of scholars in various disciplines who have thought carefully about what it means to educate (and have included some of the most articulate contemporary thinkers in this volume), but we have also talked with a wide range of people in diverse settings over a number of years about what counts as education.


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This article originally appeared as NSSE Yearbook Vol 107. No. 1.


Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 110 Number 13, 2008, p. 5-18
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 18445, Date Accessed: 10/17/2017 2:52:36 PM

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About the Author
  • David Coulter
    University of British Columbia
    E-mail Author
    DAVID COULTER joined the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia in 1995 after working in Quebec and Manitoba schools for more than 25 years. At various times in his career, he has been a classroom teacher in both elementary and secondary schools, a consultant, a school principal, and a superintendent. He is an associate professor of educational studies at UBC and Co-Director of the Centre for the Study of Teacher Education. His research interests focus on understanding and fostering educational judgment. His writing has been published in both scholarly journals (e.g., Educational Researcher and Handbook of Research on Teaching) and professional publications (e.g., Education Canada).
  • John Wiens
    University of Manitoba
    E-mail Author
    JOHN R. WIENS is currently professor and dean in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, following a career as teacher, counselor, principal, and superintendent in the public school system. He is president elect of the Canadian Association of Deans of Education and has served as president of the Manitoba Teachers’ Society, the Canadian Education Association, the Manitoba Educational Research Council, and Manitoba Educators for Social Responsibility. He is a past director of the National Society for the Study of Education, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the Manitoba Board of Teacher Education and Certification, and the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents. His academic interests are democracy and education, educational leadership, and teacher education.
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