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Open-Mindedness and Education

Open-Mindedness and Education

William Hare
Copyright Date: 1979
Pages: 178
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  • Book Info
    Open-Mindedness and Education
    Book Description:

    Professor Hare provides a systematic and detailed examination of what is meant by calling a person open-minded, and an inquiry into the place and importance of this comparatively neglected idea in education. "[Hare] provides us with a clear concept of open-mindedness and shows why that attitude is central to our view of education ... for those who are interested in the concept of education or values or moral education, and those who want to see how open-mindedness relates to important concepts such as rationality, neutrality, indoctrination ... recommended to all who are concerned with education, not just teachers and teacher educators. The language is absolutely clear and free of pretentious jargon, the arguments are rigorous, cogent, and easy to follow, and the organization of the book is truly exemplary." Canadian Journal of Education.

    eISBN: 978-0-7735-6089-5
    Subjects: Education

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Preface
    (pp. ix-xii)
    William Hare
  4. 1 The concept of open-mindedness
    (pp. 1-20)

    Among the parasynthetic formations in English, which include such types as “good-natured,” “wrong-headed,” and “quick-witted,” there is a fairly small but important group which combines various adjectives with the past participle of “mind” to produce participial adjectives of the form “𝜙-minded.” A list of the more common words in this group would include: narrow-, broad-, (cf. small-, large-), quick-, simple-, fair-, foul-, evil-, noble-, healthy-, bloody-, single-, weak-, (cf. tender), tough-, feeble-, absent-, independent-, and the one of special interest here, open-minded. There appear to be no logical reasons why some other adjectives have not been formed in this manner....

  5. 2 Alternative views of open-mindedness
    (pp. 21-46)

    It is sometimes thought that open-mindedness is to be identified with having certain opinions, or that having certain opinions is anecessaryor asufficientcondition of open-mindedness. People commonly say such things as “No open-minded person could believe that”¹ in which the possession of a certain belief is alleged to be a sufficient condition for denying that the person is open-minded. For example, in a letter inThe Guardian,Oct. 21, 1976, with the heading “Closed Minds and Nuclear Options,” the writer observes that his opponent “says he is unconvinced about fast reactors.” The writer adds: “I think from...

  6. 3 Open-mindedness and education
    (pp. 47-64)

    We are now in a position to turn to some important issues in the philosophy of education.

    (a) Is the concept of open-mindedness connected with the concept of education? Is it a necessary or a sufficient condition of being educated? Does open-mindedness exclude other attitudes which might be thought to be of value?

    (b) What would it mean for a person to be an open-minded teacher? If open-mindedness is not the same as neutrality or impartiality, could it yet be that open-minded teaching demands neutrality on the part of the teacher? Do certain general teaching strategies, such as formal instruction,...

  7. 4 Open-mindedness and the teacher
    (pp. 65-84)

    We may think of open-mindedness as characterizing awayof teaching or we may think of it as an aim of teaching. If we are right in thinking of open-mindedness as the appropriate attitude with respect to truth and as having intrinsic value, then we will hold not only that teachers will aim at developing this trait in their students, but will also aim at manifesting it in their work as teachers. We need, however, to look more closely at the relationship between methods and aims of teaching.

    A tentative analysis of the concept of teaching might indicate that it...

  8. 5 Open-mindedness and subject areas
    (pp. 85-102)

    We looked in chapter 3 at the view that open-mindedness is in principle impossible. It was argued there that this view rests on confusion, namely the belief that any new experience must be forced into our already existing conceptual framework. Apart from the fact that we can alter our conceptual framework, even if we utilize the conceptual framework which we possess there is room for open-mindedness because it may not be clear how or where the new experience is to be fitted in. The empirical evidence is that we can usefully distinguish those who are more and those who are...

  9. 6 Open-mindedness and teaching methods
    (pp. 103-128)

    One cannot tell in advance of experience whether or not a particular teaching technique or method will be successful, i.e., will eventuate in the student learning. As Stenhouse has recently observed, “the development of teaching strategies can never be apriori.”¹And we are only now beginning to appreciate how complex such empirical inquiries are. Numerous factors including the size, acoustics, illumination, and ventilation of the classroom need to be taken into consideration as well as a host of psychological factors.² One peculiar difficulty centres on the attitude which the student has to the method being used. If a student...

  10. 7 Objections to open-mindedness in teaching
    (pp. 129-142)

    1/ The major arguments of this book so far can be summarized in the following six points:

    (a) Open-mindedness is logically unrelated towhatone believes: neutrality and doubt are neither necessary nor sufficient for open-mindedness.

    (b) Open-mindednessislogically related to the concept of education and is consistent with other valuable attitudes.

    (c) Open-mindedness is an attitude we can have to settled as well as to ongoing issues. It involves being willing to revise one’s views in the light of counter-evidence. No subject matter in itself clashes with open-mindedness.

    (d) No particular method of teaching in itself excludes or...

  11. Notes
    (pp. 143-158)
  12. Bibliography
    (pp. 159-162)
  13. Index
    (pp. 163-166)