What is justice? What counts as justice in education? How do we know whether we are being just? Does the profession require a specialised account of justice? Bernard will discuss various conceptions of justice and some of the problems that they encounter. Drawing on Wittgensteinian literature, he will offer a deflationary account of justice, and show how conceptual confusions enable us to hide our obligations from ourselves. Finally, he will discuss the practical implications of such a view for teaching and teachers.
Bernard Andrews is the Head of Philosophy and Research Lead at Caxton College in Valencia. He is in the final throes of his PhD at Southampton University, in which he studied applying the philosophy of Wittgenstein to the ethics of the education of students with social, emotional and mental health difficulties. He has taught for 15 years, 8 of which were with students either in danger of exclusion or who were already permanently excluded.
Discussions about education (and crucially how to improve it) appear to hit a wall when it comes to issues of values and ideology. Drawing primarily on the work of Wittgenstein, Bernard will be discussing how we might be able to resolve such disagreements. He suggests that the apparent impassability of such disagreements stems from conceptual confusions in the way we view justice, ethics, and the aims of education. He proposes an approach to thinking about education, Educational Fideism, that he believes dissolves many of these problems.