Modifying the Liberal Educational Ideal

Meira Levinson

in The Demands of Liberal Education

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780199250448
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191599750 | DOI:
 Modifying the Liberal Educational Ideal

Show Summary Details


Examines four objections stemming from the clash of theory (that liberalism requires the institution of compulsory, autonomy‐driven schools regardless of parental preferences) and intuition (that liberalism entails democratic control over schools and sensitivity to parents’ preferences). It argues that the ‘detached school’ should, with minor modifications, continue to provide the basis for the liberal educational ideal. Section 3.1 addresses concerns about state tyranny, arguing that the detached school both counters the threat of parental tyranny and ensures a substantive pluralism among schools and within society. Section 3.2 shows that detached schools can promote effective parental involvement. Section 3.3 addresses the hidden curriculum of schools, while Section 3.4 discusses the ability of the detached school to help children develop cultural coherence and a stable sense of identity as well as a capacity for choice.

Keywords: choice; cultural coherence; democratic control; hidden curriculum; identity; liberal education; parental involvement; pluralism; schools; tyranny

Chapter.  16474 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.