A New History of Educational Philosophy

James S. Kaminsky

Kaminsky provides a new intellectual history of educational philosophy in the context of a comparative examination of educational philosophy in the United States, Britain, and Australasia. Throughout his work he challenges those involved with educational philosophy to take a different view of the discipline and its intellectual mission. Kaminsky argues that the intellectual mission of education is different from that of philosophy. He believes that the legitimate audience of educational philosophy is made up of professional educators. The new history of educational philosophy suggests a profound alignment with social science the discipline being part of an attempt to define and realize a social politic for the Common School. The conduct and invention of philosophy of education in Britain is drawn from an attempt to restore the classical reassurances of the English concept of a liberal education to the conduct of teacher education in particular and the conduct of English versions of education in general. In Australasia, Kaminsky argues, the discipline was initially dependent upon the work of R.S. Peters and the establishment of the university study of education in Britain. Later developments are attributed to a defensive two-class politics that came out of convictry and began to find expression in Old and New Left politics in the late 1960s and beyond. In offering a new interpretation of educational philosophy which traces its origins to both social science and philosophy, Kaminsky has provided a work of value to all involved with educational philosophy.