Education for social responsibility: Ethics and imagination for engaging students and teachers in educational reform

Atweh, Bill, Bland, Derek C., & Ala’i, Kate (2012) Education for social responsibility: Ethics and imagination for engaging students and teachers in educational reform. In Cotton, Tony (Ed.) Towards an Education for Social Justice : Ethics Applied to Education. Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, pp. 13-40.

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In this chapter we make assumptions about the primary role of education for the life of its beneficiaries and for society. Undoubtedly, formal education plays an important role in enhancing the likelihood for participation in future social life, including enjoyment and employment, by the student as well as the development of the well being of society in general. Similarly, education is often seen as a main means for intergenerational transmission of knowledge and culture. However, as Dewey (1916) argues, in liberal societies, education has the capacity of enhancing democratic participation in society that goes beyond passive participation by its members. One can argue that the achievement of the ideals of democracy demands a free and strong education system. In other words, while education can function as an instrument to integrate students into the present society, it also has the potential to become an instrument for its transformation by means of which citizens can develop an understanding of how their society functions and a sense of agency towards its transformation. Arguably, this is what Freire (1985) meant when he talked about the role of education to “read and write” the world. A stream of progressive educators (e.g., Apple (2004), Freire, (1985), Giroux (2001) and McLaren (2002)) taught us that the reading of the world that is capable of leading into writing the world is a critical reading; i.e., a reading that poses “Why” questions and imagines “What else can be” (Carr & Kemmis, 1987).

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ID Code: 58333
Item Type: Book Chapter
Keywords: ethics, imagination, students as researchers, marginalised students
ISBN: 9783034302456
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > EDUCATION (130000) > EDUCATION SYSTEMS (130100) > Secondary Education (130106)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Education
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 Peter Lang
Deposited On: 18 Mar 2013 03:56
Last Modified: 06 Jun 2013 07:54

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