Faith in Schools? Autonomy, Citizenship, and Religious Education in the Liberal State

ISBN-10: 0691130914

ISBN-13: 9780691130910

Edition: 2007

Authors: Ian MacMullen

List price: $55.00
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Should a liberal democratic state permit religious schools? Should it fund them? What principles should govern these decisions in a society marked by religious and cultural pluralism? InFaith in Schools?, Ian MacMullen tackles these important questions through both political and educational theory, and he reaches some surprising and provocative conclusions. MacMullen argues that parents' desires to educate their children "in the faith" must not be allowed to deny children the opportunity for ongoing rational reflection about their values. Government should safeguard children's interests in developing as autonomous persons as well as society's interest in the education of an emerging generation of citizens. But, he writes, liberal theory does not support a strict separation of church and state in education policy. MacMullen proposes criteria to distinguish religious schools that satisfy legitimate public interests from those that do not. And he argues forcefully that governments should fund every type of school that they permit, rather than favoring upper-income parents by allowing them to buy their way out of the requirements deemed suitable for children educated at public expense. Drawing on psychological research, he proposes public funding of a broad range of religious primary schools, because they can help lay the foundations for young children's future autonomy. In secondary education, by contrast, even private religious schools ought to be obliged to provide robust exposure to the ideas of other religions, to atheism, and to nonreligious approaches to ethics.
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Book details

List price: $55.00
Copyright year: 2007
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 7/22/2007
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 232
Size: 6.50" wide x 9.50" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 1.034
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Civic Education and Religious Schools
The Civic Case against Religious Schools
The Civic Goals of Education
Civic Goals as the Only Goals of Public Education Policy
Do Religious Schools Make Good Citizens?
The Civic Value of Religious Schools
Responses and Conclusions
Civic Education and the Autonomy Problem in Political Liberalism
Conflicting Educational Goals: Three Approaches to Resolution
Liberalism without Political Primacy
Is Autonomy a "Cost" of Civic Education?
Liberal Democratic Principles Presuppose the Value of Autonomy
Conclusion
Autonomy as a Public Value
Autonomy, Identity, and Choice
Autonomy as Ongoing Rational Reflection
Caricatures of Rational Autonomy
The Nature of Autonomous Reflection
Conclusion
The Value of Autonomy in a Pluralist World
John Stuart Mill, Joseph Raz, and the Intrinsic Value of Autonomy
Contemporary Liberal Responses to Mill: The Neutrality Condition
Autonomy and Moral Responsibility
Arguments for the Instrumental Value of Autonomy
The Instrumental Value of Autonomy and the Neutrality Principle
Conclusion
Autonomy as a Goal of Education Policy: Objections and Responses
Parental Rights and Interests
"Parents Are People Too"
The Death Knell for Traditional Ways of Life?
Other Objections and Responses
Conclusion
Religious Schools and Education for Autonomy
Secular Public Schools: Critiques and Responses
What's Wrong with Secular Education?
Public Control of Schools
Authority and Autonomy
Conclusion
Religious Secondary Schools as Threat to Autonomy?
The Development of Autonomy Cannot Be Taken for Granted
The Autonomy Case against Religious Schools
Hallmarks of Permissible Religious Secondary Schools
Regulation and Entanglement
Conclusions and Policy Implications
The Role of Religious Primary Schools
Age-Sensitive Education
Primary Culture and Identity
Reasoning within an Ethical Framework
Cognitive Development and Autonomous Reflection
Maintaining the Option of Autonomous Religious Belief
Hallmarks of Permissible Religious Primary Schools
Conclusion
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
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