ABSTRACT

What I aim to do in this chapter is develop a concept of education that is appropriate to life in the type of pluralist and developing society that is characteristic of much of the world today. This type of society throws up particular problems and s t resses of its own, which anyone living in it should be p r e - pared for. In one sense , t hen , there is a certain relativity about my proposals, and I can readily concede that other types of education may be more likely to prepare people for lives of nomadic pastoralism, Spartan militarism or Cuban collectivism to take three examples of forms of life significantly different from that of the contemporary west. Nor am I concerned to argue whether a bush nomad, in the absence of any formal schooling, receives an upbringing ra ther than an education, for nothing of any importance hangs on verbal disputes of this sor t . The important thing to decide is the type of u p - bringing appropriate for our children. Whether this counts as 'education' or not according to anyone's concept of education is larely immaterial, if only because, as has already emerged from Chapter 1, people's concepts of education and its aims are never independent of their general social and ethical ideals. A plurality of aims is also significant; many discussions of education falter because they assume that any system of education must have one overriding aim, whereas I shall argue that a decent upbringing for children will have a number of aims, from a number of different points of view.