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Document Type:Latin Dissertation
Language of Document:English
Record Number:53663
Doc. No:TL23617
Call number:‭3393917‬
Main Entry:Nina Abraham Palmer
Title & Author:What is worth teaching and why: How do we justify what we teach?Nina Abraham Palmer
College:Harvard University
Date:2009
Degree:Ed.D.
student score:2009
Page No:155
Abstract:The purpose of this dissertation is to examine the question, what is worth teaching and why? I analyze a range of purposes, values and criteria that have been suggested as the basis for curricular choices rather than recommend a new philosophical approach to curriculum selection. To this end, I examine the perspectives of three philosophers—John Dewey, Mortimer Adler and Israel Scheffler, who have sought to address the question of what is worth teaching in a fundamental way. A key reason for choosing these three is that they all ground their answers in a vision of what it means to educate in a democracy for democracy. Yet, each has a unique vision of what such an education entails thus bringing different desiderata to the fore. By juxtaposing the three, we see more than what three individual thinkers bring to the table. We see how even similar purposes and values can be modulated differently when seen through distinct disciplinary or methodological lenses. The outline of the dissertation is as follows. In chapter 1 I defend the use of philosophy in analyzing curricular concerns, generally speaking. I hold that such a defense is necessary, to justify my choice of philosophy as a uniquely useful lens through which to approach curricular questions Chapter 2 briefly highlights the contributions of various philosophers—from Plato to the present time, to the discussion on what is worth teaching and why. Chapters 3, 4 and 5 comprise individual analyses of Dewey's, Adler's and Scheffler's views on the question of what is worth teaching and why. In chapter 6 I compare the criteria proposed by these three, to determine if there is one criterion or set of criteria: (1) central to all cases of choosing curriculum, (2) that is more justified than others as criteria in curriculum selection. I draw the following conclusions: (1) Determining what we ought to teach involves more than one single type of decision to be made, and each task calls for the employment of different criteria. (2) Although all three philosophers' criteria advance the cause of schooling in and for democracy, Scheffler's criteria go the furthest.
Subject:Education; Curriculum; Ethics; Justification; Curriculum development; Education philosophy; Teaching; 0727:Curriculum development; 0998:Education philosophy
Added Entry:Harvard University