What, if any, are the core values and ideas of education? Is moral education an independent variety of education or is it something that is intrinsic to most forms of education?
Analysing education through the critical lens of philosophy, this volume explores the challenges that the education system faces in a country like India—a country where any form of generalization becomes dubious owing to its inherently multicultural and multi-linguistic character.
Philosophy and Education also critically examines the higher education system of the country and discusses issues ranging from the importance of humanities in university education to the accountability of institutions, and the division of academic labour as an interdisciplinary effort.
The book looks at both the concept and the system of education, and provides a much-needed philosophical underpinning to our understanding of several core and topical concerns of teaching, learning, and research.
Mrinal Miri is a former Professor of Philosophy at North Eastern Hill University, Shillong, and he retired as the Vice Chancellor of this university in 2005. He also served as Director, Indian Institute of Advanced Study, Shimla, for six years. He has authored several books including Identity and the Moral Life (Oxford University Press, 2003). Currently he is the Chairman, Indian Council of Philosophical Research, New Delhi, and a member of the Upper House of Indian Parliament.
The book arose out of lectures I delivered as a visiting professor of the National Council of Educational Research and Training in some of its regional colleges. A further opportunity was provided by the award of the National Fellowship of the Indian Council of Philosophical Research towards expanding on these lectures and shaping them in the form of a book. My philosophical interest in education was triggered by the invitation I received from Professor Krishna Kumar, the then Director of the National Council of Educational Research and Training, to be a member of the Steering Committee for the preparation of the National Curriculum Framework, 2005. My main contribution as a member of this Committee was a small piece of writing entitled ‘The Aims of Education’. But this was also truly the beginning of my philosophical thinking about education.
The book begins (Chapter 1) with an exploration of the idea of education and values associated with the practice of education. Its main aim is, however, to attempt to answer the question whether some of these values are, in some strong sense, internal to the practice. I have found it useful in this discussion to consider the question of what we take to be valuable in at least some of the arts, particularly music. What, if anything, for example, is valuable in music as music, as opposed to some external ends that music might serve? Two conclusions that this discussion helped me reach are: (a) the relationship between music and its value as music is very similar to the relationship between education and its value as a specific human practice; and (b) by virtue of music’s particular internal value, its claim to be a necessary part of at least school curricula is indeed very strong.
Autonomy of educational institutions, particularly of higher education institutions, is a widely accepted idea; but the employment of this concept is beset with unclarities, owing to the fact that it is framed by contingencies of diverse kinds, which, in many cases, are themselves quite opaque. This also impacts our understanding of the relationship between autonomy and accountability.
Chapter 2 addresses some of the questions relating to the issue of autonomy and accountability.
One of the contingencies that must condition our thinking about education is the fact of our nationhood and the kind of nation we are. Being part of a nation, particularly a nation that is still in the process of being ‘built’, is different from being a citizen of a state. The former has an ethical edge which is missing in the latter. My relationship with the state is contractual, while my belonging to a nation enters into my conception of myself in a somewhat deeper way. While culture is certainly a part of the life of a nation, our nation, like many other nations, is not unicultural; it is multicultural or pluricultural. The health of the nation depends on how a common purpose and a common sympathy is forged through a mutuality of understanding and respect among these cultures. And this is primarily an ethical enterprise. Nation building is a challenge for all of us, and how education helps us meet this challenge is the concern of Chapter 3.
**Contents and Sample Pages**
Item Code: NAR994 Author: Mrinal Miri Cover: PAPERBACK Edition: 2014 Publisher: Oxford University Press ISBN: 9780199452767 Language: English Size: 8.50 X 5.50 inch Pages: 190 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 0.22 Kg