The Schizophrenia of Contemporary Education and the Moral Work of Teaching

  • Sanger M
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Stocker’s classic and provocatively titled essay “The Schizophrenia of Modern Ethical Theory” (1976/1997) takes to task a certain type of philo- sophical work. Modern ethical theories, as Stocker puts it, “deal only with reasons... with what justifies. They fail to examine motives and the moti- vational structures and constraints of ethical life” (p. 453). Because of this, he claims, leading a life guided by a modern ethical theory is either impov- erished, due to its narrow and self-defeating pursuit of the theories’ pre- scribed end, or worse, in a schizophrenic malady of the spirit: I draw on Stocker’s essay to illustrate how the prevailing educational ideology (and its manifestations in teaching, schooling, and teacher edu- cation) presents educators with an analogous set of prospects—a life of professional work that is educationally impoverished and/or schizo- phrenic, in Stocker’s sense.

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  • Matthew Sanger

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