Professional teachers for authentic democracy : a philosophical study of the political presuppositions of educational evaluation
The problem addressed is the evaluation of a school and the study conducts a philosophical analysis of the normative and political presuppositions of educational evaluation. This involves the articulation of a comprehensive theory of education, integrating social and political philosophy and a vision of the good for man. This integration is achieved through an examination of the related ideas of an existential perspective on the good of the individual, the grounding of normative judgments in the human existential predicament, the primacy of practice and the importance of "democratic" communications and power relations. It is argued that educational evaluation should be grounded in a conception of man's good - in both individual and social terms, and Chapter I addresses the individual aspect. Chapter II analyses the social perspective and articUlates a democratic social principle based on equal consideration of the good of all individuals. Chapter III argues that power relations and communications processes are crucial for individuals and groups realizing their good. Chapter IV articulates principles for the shaping of power relations and communications by the basic structure of society; it addresses the reconciliation of popular political accountability, worker autonomy and cultural pluralism. Chapter V uses the preceding analyses to articulate two basic aims for education, one existential, the other social. It is argued that these aims should be elaborated in terms of the power relations and communications processes of the participants before considering specific educational objectives, curriculum,pedagogy or evaluation procedures. The overarching importance of the system of political control over education is stressed. Throughout, and especially in Chapter VI, the thesis addresses major policy issues in the political control of education, e.g., educational evaluation, curriculum control, teacher accountability, local versus central control. It also raises basic questions concerning the research programme of educational theorists and philosophers of education.