Leaders in Philosophy of Education

Intellectual Self-Portraits


Editor: Leonard J. Waks
Since the 1960s we have witnessed the development of philosophy of education as a vital intellectual field. Beginning with the work of Israel Scheffler at Harvard, and spreading rapidly to the United Kingdom under the influence of R.S. Peters and Paul Hirst at the London Institute of Education, analytical philosophers of education worked toward a new understanding of such central educational concepts as teaching, learning, explanation, curriculum, aims and objectives, freedom and authority, equality and liberal education. They also examined theoretical issues in educational research and critiqued reigning ideas in educational psychology.
By the 1970s interest in the analysis of educational concepts and research methods had waned. A new generation of philosophers of education turned to new issues, including: intellectual and practical virtues, individual well-being, the education of girls and women, the ethics of care, creative thinking and imagination, multicultural education, globalization and many others.
In this book, 24 leading philosophers of education since 1970 who remain influential today present the fascinating stories of their lives and important new contributions to the field. They trace their early experiences, initial encounters with philosophy and philosophy of education, creative directions in their work, mature ideas, and perceptions of future directions for the field. Each chapter contains a list of works chosen by the authors as their personal favorites.

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“Let me offer a word in praise of the design of this book, which melds the philosophical with the personal. This melding is of especial importance in the communication of large ideas, which take on special vibrancy when presented not as abstract messages alone but as products of minds, motivations, and feelings.”—Professor Israel Scheffler (from the Foreword)
This book will be useful for all students of philosophy of education and for all scholars seeking to understand the main currents in this field of study. In a single volume it presents a bird’s eye view of the entire field, as told in the words of its leading figures.