What should education be for? Should it produce workers or educate future citizens? Is there a place for faith schools - and should patriotism be taught?
In this compelling and controversial book, Harry Brighouse takes on all these urgent questions and more. He argues that schooling should be guided by a fundamental principle, often overlooked by politicians and policy makers: the moral interests of the children being taught.
In making his case, he argues that children share four fundamental interests: becoming autonomous, capable of making their own judgments about what values to adopt; acquiring the skills that will enable them to become economically self-sufficient as adults; being exposed to a range of activities and experiences that will enable them to flourish in their personal lives; and developing a sense of justice.
He criticizes sharply those who place the interests of the economy before those of children, and assesses the arguments for and against the controversial issues of 'faith schools and the teaching of patriotism.
Clearly argued but provocative, On Education draws on recent examples from Britain and North America as well as famous thinkers on education such as Aristotle and John Locke. It is essential reading for anyone interested in the present state of education and its future.