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Educational Contestability

Geoffrey Partington
Oxford Review of Education
Vol. 27, No. 2 (Jun., 2001), pp. 205-217
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1050679
Page Count: 13
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Educational Contestability
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Abstract

The paper considers the implications of the concept of the essential contestability of education for the professional independence of teachers. Its conclusion is that liberal educational ideas provide the strongest theoretical framework for such independence, with child-centred ideas a not very close second. Potential dangers to teachers' professional autonomy from transcendentalist, instrumentalist and reconstructionist theories of education are highlighted. The paper does not endorse unlimited contestability or unrestricted professional independence for teachers and outlines conditions, related to the Paradox of Freedom, in which restrictions are fully justifiable. However, it concludes that in contemporary liberal-democratic societies constraints on educational contestability should be as minimal as possible.

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