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Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic SocietiesTeaching for Cosmopolitan Values and Collective Identities$
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Kevin McDonough and Walter Feinberg

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780199253661

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0199253668.001.0001

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THE BURDENS AND DILEMMAS OF COMMON SCHOOLING

THE BURDENS AND DILEMMAS OF COMMON SCHOOLING

Chapter:
(p.121) CHAPTER 5 THE BURDENS AND DILEMMAS OF COMMON SCHOOLING
Source:
Citizenship and Education in Liberal-Democratic Societies
Author(s):

Terence H. McLaughlin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0199253668.003.0006

Terence Mclaughlin’s essay addresses the conceptual and practical complexities involved in identifying and evaluating the nature, status, and institutional context of common (public) education in pluralist societies. He explores some of the neglected burdens and dilemmas faced by common schools in pluralist, multicultural, and liberal–democratic societies. The potential weight and complexity of these burdens and dilemmas is reflected in Stephen Macedo’s observation that common schools give rise to questions relating to some of the ‘deepest divisions’ and ‘most intractable conflicts’ characterizing the public lives of modern states. The chapter has five sections: Section 5.1 outlines some general considerations relating to common schooling and a conception of common education, pointing out that the relationship between the two is a contingent one – the adequacy of a particular institutional arrangement, such as the common school, depends critically on the extent to which it embodies an adequate conception of common education; Section 5.2 offers a sketch of some general features of such conceptions; in Sections 5.3 and 5.4, respectively, some of the burdens and dilemmas of common schooling are explored; Section 5.5 addresses neglected questions relating to the pre-eminently practical burdens and dilemmas highlighted in the previous two sections. McLaughlin’s chapter is especially helpful in identifying a number of the most important considerations in the presumption in favour of common schools as the most suitable arrangement for advancing common education, and his essay maps the conceptual, curricular, pedagogical, and policy issues that must be addressed in clarifying and defending the role of common schools and common education in liberal–democratic societies.

Keywords:   burdens, common education, common schools, dilemmas, institutional arrangements, liberal–democratic societies, multicultural societies, pluralist societies, public education

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