Education and Childhood
by Joseph Dunne — 2008
This chapter grapples with “the obligation that the existence of children entails for every human society” (Hannah Arendt, “The Crisis in Education,” in Between Past and Future [New York: Penguin Books, 1968], 185.) Joseph Dunne begins by considering the dominant views of Western societies about the early years of childhood, the ideas which have shaped primary education practices. Those ideas, he claims, have been shaped by (1) the modern idea of “progress,” with its ultimate goal of “maturity,” and (2) postmodern social conditions which sometimes, for example, “enlist children as consumers,” transforming innocence into knowingness and cynicism.
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