School of Education Seminar Series: Educational Purposes, Ethics and Beliefs

This event has now finished. Please see our events website for details of upcoming events at Brookes.

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


BG/25, Harcourt Hill Campus


Seeking Agreement in Primary Humanities with speaker David Aldridge

The notion of agreement, and the extent to which it might be desirable, is explored with reference to humanities teaching at ages 4-10. The paper will advance the thesis that an attendance to subject matter and an orientation towards truth have a specifically ethical importance in the primary curriculum. This will be elaborated with reference to the encounter between Plato and the sophists, and the contrasting sides in this debate that have been taken by Hans-Georg Gadamer and Richard Rorty. Finally, the thesis will be defended against some practical objections that might be raised, in particular the views that pupils in the lower years of primary school might be unprepared to make critical judgements, and that questioning the truth of deeply held beliefs entails excessive anguish in younger children.
David Aldridge is a philosopher working in the School of Education, Oxford Brookes University

These seminars are convened by the Educational Purposes, Ethics and Beliefs Research Group within the School of Education, Oxford Brookes University. This semester’s programme begins with two contrasting philosophical approaches to education – a transformative approach emphasising the importance of uncertainty and struggle, drawing on pragmatic and hermeneutic approaches to education, and an approach that attends to a biological perspective. Later in the semester we focus on history, citizenship and moral development in education.