Here's the syllabus I've come up with for an online version of the course I teach, "Philosophy of Education." I'd be curious to hear what everyone thinks! In particular, what readings on technology do you think would be appropriate given the aims I outline in the course description?
Philosophy of Education (ESEPHL 3410)
Online Course Syllabus
The Ohio State University
Instructor: Douglas Yacek
Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Place: Everywhere and nowhere
What does it mean to be an educated person in our modern technological society? This question has two parts, each of which will correspond to a line of inquiry that this course will pursue. The first will focus on the concept of education. What is the purpose of education, and what is its aim? What should be taught, and how should we teach? Who gets to decide? These questions have preoccupied Western philosophy since Plato first enunciated his provocative educational vision in the Allegory of the Cave. In this course, we will explore the myriad ways that philosophers have revised, reiterated or revolutionized this vision – from Aristotle and Augustine, to the Enlightenment and Counter-Enlightenment thinkers, to the twentieth-century progressive educators, and finally to the radical critics of consumer capitalism. This journey will acquaint us with robust philosophical views on education that we will use to enrich our imagination of what we can expect from our schools. In doing so, we will be exploring both the idea and the ideal of education.
The second part of the course will question whether these educational ideals passed down to us from the Western philosophical tradition are still achievable, or even desirable, in a thoroughly technologized society like ours. What exactly is a technology? Is its use in education neutral, or does it carry with it certain values and norms to which education must then conform? How might it endanger, or enrich, the educational process? Can cyberspace be a place of deep learning? These questions explore one of the most powerful and influential forces in our society today, one which has shaped the course of history as well as the very nature of this course. Although the pervasiveness of technology seems to be its own justification, we will attempt to adopt a critical, philosophical stance on technology and its ubiquitous application. From this standpoint we can acknowledge what is at stake when technology is brought into the classroom, and when the classroom is uploaded to the internet.
Assignments and Grading:
- Blogposts 20%
- Reading Quizzes 20%
- Multimedia Projects 20% each
- Final Exam 20%
The blogposts are an opportunity for you to reflect on the readings or lecture materials for each week. Additionally, they are a space for you to connect these materials to your own life – to other courses you are taking, to social and political issues that are relevant and interesting to you, to happenings on social media etc. You are encouraged to respond to other people’s posts and are required to comment on at least two each week. The blogpost should be more than 150 words, preferably more than 250, and should contain at least one hyperlink. You can make multiple posts per week. If the interests and issues that people share on the blog are interesting, I may change the lecture material to accommodate them.
The reading quizzes will consist of five multiple-choice questions about the reading due each week. The questions will be available to you as guides to your reading.
The multimedia projects should be uploaded to the blog in the week before midterms and again two weeks before the end of class. Your choices for these are (1) a minimum 1250-word blogpost with at least three self-made visuals, (2) a minimum three-minute YouTube presentation with visuals, (3) a minimum seven-minute podcast featuring an interview with an educator, (4) another idea you have. I will make “idea prompts” available to you several weeks before the due date to help guide your creative process.
The final exam will be written, cumulative exam, in which you will have to draw on the work of the philosophers we cover in class to comment on and critique contemporary views on education.
Philosophy of Education
Plato - Allegory of the Cave
Socratic Tradition in Philosophy of Education
Plato - The Apology of Socrates, Meno
- Nichomachean Ethics, Book I, II
Strike - Trust, Traditions and Pluralism
|4||Medieval Philosophy of Education
Augustine - The Teacher
|5||(Counter-)Enlightenment and Philosophy of Education
Rousseau - Discourse on the Origin and Basis of Inequality, Emile - Introduction
|6||Nietzsche - On the Future of Our Educational Institutions, Lecture I; Schopenhauer as Educator|
|7||Progressivism and Philosophy of Education
Dewey - Democracy in Education; Experience and Education, Chapter 2 and 3
|8||Freire - Pedagogy of the Oppressed, Chapter 1 and 2|
|9||Illich - Deschooling Society, Chapter 3, 6 and 7|
|10||Technology in Education
Marcuse - One-Dimensional Man, Chapter 1
Mumford - Technics and the Nature of Man
- The Question Concerning Technology, The Thing
Borgmann - Focal Practices
- Natural-born Cyborgs, Chapter 1
Downes - Connectivism and Transculturality
|13||Burbules - Some Alternative Futures of Hypertext Learning Environments|
|14||Wood - The Future of College? (Atlantic)|