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Title: A reflection on the crisis in education and man's truncated existence
Author: Lyons, Maria
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2011
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Today, in any part of Britain, it is hardly possible to open a newspaper without reading the word 'crisis' in connection to some aspect of public education. Within educational literature, many versions of this crisis have been recognised, debated and diagnosed. In an academic climate generally discouraging to 'big picture' research, however, comparatively few attempts have been made to interpret the contemporary crisis in education in terms of more profound social, historical and spiritual phenomena. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, this thesis has sought to provide such an interpretation, drawing in particular on the anthroposophical worldview developed by Austrian philosopher Rudolf Steiner (1861- 1925). In tracing the major political, economic and ideological factors that have shaped education in Britain since the end of the Second World War up to the present, the thesis has identified a set of recurring attitudes and practices which can be traced to their origins in the circumstances of the European Enlightenment. The most significant of these is the belief that the united power of politics and education can guarantee a healthy society. This enduring conviction fuels today's politically-instigated 'learning revolution'. The thesis has argued that the politicisation of learning is fundamentally at odds with human freedom, for it entails an externalisation of responsibility for self-knowledge and self-development. It is this tension which manifests as an ever-intensifying sense of crisis. The thesis has proposed that to address the crisis it will be necessary to move beyond both the idea of freedom as a state project and the prevailing conception of the human self as a politically realisable entity. Emphasising the personal rather than the political nature of the crisis, the thesis has striven to demonstrate that it is ultimately up to each individual, in his or her everyday thoughts and actions, to take responsibility for it.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available