Child-centred education and the recent philosophical critique
This thesis is an indirect defence of child-centred education. After reviewing some of the merits of this approach, it focuses on the critique of child-centred education advanced in contemporary philosophy of education and draws attention to the shortcomings of this criticism. Part One examines the insights of Rousseau and A S Neill and shows the kind of illumination to be had from a study of such writers. Part Two looks at some of the ways in which child-centred thinking came to be developed. The thesis charts the growing acceptance of this approach to education by policy-makers and practitioners, and points to the 1960s as a particularly receptive era. The same decade saw the emergence of a new style of philosophising about education. Part Three begins by setting this writing in the context of earlier developments in academic philosophy. The new philosophers of education were concerned to challenge child-centred education: the thesis argues, however that their influential criticisms are not so damaging as they appeared at the time. As a counter-attack, some critical points are developed about the nature and value of the new philosophy of education.