An Aristotelian approach to character education from the perspective of ‘educational neuroscience’
There has been a shift in interest from ‘lifelong education’ to ‘lifelong learning’ in the Western world since the 1990s. This shift is closely related to strategies for securing the competitiveness of national economies. For this purpose one of the tools applied by educational policy makers has been to invoke ‘the golden standard(s)’ of evidence based research into the domain of learning. A number of problems with this approach are that the very conception of learning is broad, vague, ambiguous and does not in itself give us a normative handle which can help us with education. There might be one particular area, however, where evidence based learning research might be thought to have a strong foothold: in the brain sciences. And certainly a rapidly growing interest in ‘educational neuroscience’ has emerged within the last 10 years. But is it possible to bridge the gap between ‘studying human learning capabilities’ and ‘arguing for educational aims’ without committing an elementary naturalistic fallacy, or other conceptual mistakes? By adopting an Aristotelian approach to lifelong learning I answer this question in the positive. I argue for and outline a stance toward character education on naturalistic grounds without which educational neuroscience is blind and educational theories run the risk of remaining empty.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2013
Neuro-psykologi; Livslang læring; Måling; Pædagogisk filosofi