The first part explores the education of the individual in society and the development of reason. The second looks at progressivism and tradition in education and includes a critique of Herbert Spencer’s Essays on Education, which are little known. The third part of the book is concerned with tackling educational problems from an interdisciplinary standpoint.
The Plowden Report, Children and their Primary Schools (1967), had a huge impact on education in the latter 20th century, but at the time was labelled as left-wing, and of no practical use to the problems of education in the 1960s. The contributors to this volume were all concerned with the educational thinking of the Plowden Report, and its appropriateness or otherwise to the educational needs of the day. In quarters where the Plowden Report was treated as an authoritative textbook, the views in this volume provide a valuable critique.
‘This is indeed an outstanding book; perhaps the best study in philosophical psychology to appear since Ryle and a work which [...] will remain a classic for many years’ Philosophy
The work studies the implications for moral education and takes account of modern work ethics, development psychology and philosophy of religion. It presents its findings in a way which can be appreciated by specialists and non-specialists alike. By making a distinction between the form of the moral consciousness and the content of particular moralities, Peters reconciles the development approach of Piaget with the approaches of other schools of thought, including the Freudians and social learning theorists.
The book is written in three parts on authority, responsibility, and education, and uses several theories, including those by Marx and Freud, to achieve his aims. Although originally published some time ago, the book considers many questions that are still relevant to us today.
The book is split into four parts. The first combines a critique of psychological theories, especially those of Freud, Piaget and the Behaviourists, with some articles on the nature and development of reason and the emotions. The second looks in historical order at ethical development. The third part combines a novel approach to the problem of understanding other people, whilst the fourth part is biographical in an unusual way.
The volume can be viewed as a companion to the author’s Ethics and Education and will appeal to students and teachers of education, philosophy and psychology, as well as to the interested non-specialist reader.