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William James and Education

James Garrison Ronald Podeschi Eric Bredo

216 pages
Teachers College Press
William James and Education is a dynamic collection of original essays spotlighting William James as a role model for bringing philosophy to bear on the persistent issues of life and education. Using James’s philosophical ideas, the contributors evade the polarization and superficiality that permeate the debate around such educational issues as standards versus diversity, cultural consensus versus multiculturalism, religion versus science, and individual freedom versus social determinism. The result is a synthetic collection of essays offering original, unique, and useful insights. One of the most influential of American philosophers, William James is relevant today because he provides a way of understanding human behavior that is both rigorous and humane. James shows how we may soften and sometimes harmonize rigid ideological divisions, such as those plaguing contemporary education, with a pragmatic approach to issues of theory and practice. By reconsidering some of the roots of American thought in James’s work, this volume points the way to valuing both uniqueness and universality, among other seemingly opposing concerns. The result is a lively weave of historical and contemporary thought, providing philosophical perspectives on the critical issues facing educators today.
Author Bio
Jim Garrison is a Professor of Philosophy of Education at Virginia Tech. Ron Podeschi is a Professor-Emeritus of Educational Policy and Community Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Eric Bredo is a Professor in the Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the University of Virginia.