Jover G., Gonzálvez V., & Prieto M. (2017). Una Filosofía de la Educación del siglo XXI [A 21st century philosophy of education]. (Laura Camas Garrido)

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Jover G., Gonzálvez V., & Prieto M. (2017)
Una Filosofía de la Educación del siglo XXI [A 21st century philosophy of education].
Madrid: Síntesis. 273 pp.


It is impossible to write about the theory of education without practising it. This is, undoubtedly, the effort made in this work, the aim of which is none other than to be the impetus for reflection and debate on educational knowledge from a philosophical perspective. The philosophy of education is, inescapably, a form of philosophy, a way of practising education. Anyone who has had the courage to peer into the fjords of education will be aware of their complexity, as education is often described as multifaceted by those who have ventured out to discover it. This is why considering it as a discipline is no simple task; assembling and harmonising a whole network of historical, philosophical, theoretical, and scientific character with educational actions not only requires enjoyment of this process but also wisdom, passion, and a desire to know. The
authors of this work maintain a stimulating and inspiring conversation with their readers about the tensions, ambiguities, and dissonances of educational knowledge and, specifically, the discipline of philosophy of education. Instead of trying to be like a collection of recipes, this text is a challenging invitation to question the educational panorama by linking the past, present, and future. The work as a whole is a door into knowledge of the philosophy of education. It is a work imbued with wisdom, with which anyone who claims to be interested in education —researchers, teachers, educational professionals, and students— should be familiar. ,,

The work is structured in four parts that, in turn, contain twelve chapters. The first part sets out the epistemological foundations of pedagogical knowledge and includes reflection on: a) the need for knowledge that is scientific as well as philosophical, b) the interdependent relationships between educational theory and practice, c) the influence of the pragmatic and linguistic turns, and d) the qualities of pedagogical rationality: this is dialogic, critical, emotional, based on and aimed at educational praxis, and, consequently, is contextual and cultural in nature. This dialogue continues, examining the three ways of understanding teaching as an activity, contextualised in different paradigms: operative (scientific-technological), artistic (practical-hermeneutic), and activist (critical-emancipatory). The role of educating is shaped by values and is directed at an educational aim that «moves between technical command and the free flow of communication» (p. 52) and where the student’s benefit is pursued. Educating, therefore, means helping, helping the other improve and, definitively, helping people educate themselves. The ethical principles, duties, and criteria of education as a profession, culminating in the deontological regulations applied to education are considered. These fulfil three main functions: 1) projecting the self to
the outside world, 2) regulating the profession between the ethical and the legal, and 3) cohesion of the inside of the profession, understood as the shared values, principles, and aims that give professionals an ethical identity. ,,

The second part starts with the classic philosophical and pedagogical reflection on the aims and values of education in general and, in particular, on moral education for human development. It includes deliberation on the differences between socialisation and education, considering the act of educating as a more in-depth process, haracterised by the aim of improving the other. In particular, moral education includes essential components such as liberty that make it possible to reproduce and re)create civic culture. In addition, there is a reflexive contemplation of how citizens and their education have historically and theoretically been conceptualised, a combination that comes together in the area between the ethical and the political. The active character of this form of education is accentuated, and its fulcrum is identified as a commitment to human rights. Finally, the formation of rationality through the critical sense and deliberative practice in processes such as deliberation and argumentation is considered. ,,

The third part comprises three magnificent chapters about the challenges in the panorama of the current philosophy of education: emotional education, recognising otherness, and education in a media landscape. Far from being exclusively rational education, emotional education involves understanding them not just as
an end but as a condition, a process that involves regarding humans as Homo sapiens and as Homo demens. This is followed by reflection on education in recognising
otherness, including the ethical relationship between the self and other, and its relationship with reality. Finally, this section considers the need for critical and creative education about the media. Educationally, the relation with the media involves making future citizens active receptors and producers (procives) of content and, consequently, of knowledge. ,,

The fourth and final part ends with a journey through education in the history of philosophy, a journey through philosophical and pedagogical postulates that includes Plato, Aristotle, Augustine of Hippo, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Rousseau, Kant, and Marx, and concludes with the challenges postmodern philosophy poses for education. These challenges include: a) the need for education that is open to diversity and difference, that promotes the creative and pays attention to the particular, b) that includes actions adapted to different sociocultural and economic contexts, and c) that is open to more viral, horizontal, and online modes. This chapter is followed by one that aptures the essence of how the philosophy of education is shaped as a disciplinary field and of the conditions that all philosophical research into education must support. Finally, there is a space dedicated to coordinated clarifications that inspire the reader to reflect on the teaching of educational philosophy. This work stimulates the onversation about the teaching of the act of thinking and the philosophical perspective, and it concludes with a wide range of principles, competences, objectives, content,
and methodological strategies that guide educational practice.
Laura Camas Garrido ■

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