The philosophy of education touches on several core areas of philosophy, including epistemology, the philosophy of mind and of language, and social, moral and political philosophy. This course will focus primarily but not exclusively on the political aspects of education. For students with prior knowledge of political philosophy, the course offers in depth study of some central political issues. For students with a background in education, such as teachers, the course offers an introduction to philosophy and in particular political philosophy, with education as the recurring area of application. Topics covered include the use of grades, the privatization of schools, equality in education, school choice, the content of the curriculum and parents' influence over their children's education.
Readings include a number of fundamental texts in the philosophy and history of education - from classics such as Plato, Rousseau and Dewey, to recent contributions by Gutmann, Brighouse and Noddings. The course will further students' understanding of such fundamental concepts in philosophy as freedom, power, equality, knowledge and the good life.