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The Logic of Relevance in Independent School Education: A Pragmatic Critique

The Logic of Relevance in Independent School Education: A Pragmatic Critique Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 1 (June 2013), 113­130 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Seth Vannatta I offer a pragmatic critique of the use of relevance in independent school education. I examine three meanings of relevance. I analyze the possible components of education which need to become relevant. And I give a critique of the call to make schools relevant through technology. I conclude that advice to make teaching relevant is ambiguous and stands on a shaky philosophical foundation. In place of the current calls for relevance in independent schools, the ideal of free inquiry should become the hallmark of relevance. 1. Introduction The recent economic downturn has placed tuition driven-schools under increased pressure to retain students. Institutions of higher learning and independent secondary schools have both felt this strain. Unique to independent school marketing and pedagogy, however, is the increased impetus to make education relevant to the consumer, the families paying tuition at independent secondary schools. Several factors help insulate institutions of higher education from this immanent call for relevance. Since colleges and universities hire professors with doctoral degrees, and the training of these professors in doctoral programs takes place with highly professionalized "disciplinarity," colleges and universities rarely make http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Contemporary Pragmatism Brill

The Logic of Relevance in Independent School Education: A Pragmatic Critique

Contemporary Pragmatism , Volume 10 (1): 113 – Apr 21, 2013

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© Copyright 2013 by Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1572-3429
eISSN
1875-8185
DOI
10.1163/18758185-90000251
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Contemporary Pragmatism Vol. 10, No. 1 (June 2013), 113­130 Editions Rodopi ©2013 Seth Vannatta I offer a pragmatic critique of the use of relevance in independent school education. I examine three meanings of relevance. I analyze the possible components of education which need to become relevant. And I give a critique of the call to make schools relevant through technology. I conclude that advice to make teaching relevant is ambiguous and stands on a shaky philosophical foundation. In place of the current calls for relevance in independent schools, the ideal of free inquiry should become the hallmark of relevance. 1. Introduction The recent economic downturn has placed tuition driven-schools under increased pressure to retain students. Institutions of higher learning and independent secondary schools have both felt this strain. Unique to independent school marketing and pedagogy, however, is the increased impetus to make education relevant to the consumer, the families paying tuition at independent secondary schools. Several factors help insulate institutions of higher education from this immanent call for relevance. Since colleges and universities hire professors with doctoral degrees, and the training of these professors in doctoral programs takes place with highly professionalized "disciplinarity," colleges and universities rarely make

Journal

Contemporary PragmatismBrill

Published: Apr 21, 2013

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