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Why Education Is So Difficult and Contentious

by Kieran Egan - 2001

This article proposes to explain why education is so difficult and contentious by arguing that educational thinking draws on only three fundamental ideas—that of socializing the young, shaping the mind by a disciplined academic curriculum, and facilitating the development of students’ potential. All educational positions are made up of various mixes of these ideas. The problems we face in education are due to the fact that each of these ideas is significantly flawed and also that each is incompatible in basic ways with the other two. Until we recognize these basic incompatibilities we will be unable to adequately respond to the problems we face.

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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 103 Number 6, 2001, p. 923-941
https://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 10836, Date Accessed: 11/30/2020 6:23:30 AM

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About the Author
  • Kieran Egan
    Simon Fraser University
    Kieran Egan is author of 15 books on education, including The Educated Mind (Chicago: 1997).
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