Education and Philosophy: An Introduction

2017, SAGE.

‘Education and Philosophy accomplishes a rare feat. It provides a lucid, accessible and comprehensive introduction to the long traditions of education and philosophy and their co-implication, as well as to philosophy of education. This book constitutes a major contribution both to philosophy of education and to philosophy, which so often today forgets its intimate relationship with education.’ Aislinn O’Donnell, Professor of Education, Maynooth University.

‘Whilst Allen and Goddard take educational and philosophical ideas from the past and present and make them feel satisfyingly like our own, their genius is in making us uncomfortable about how easily such ideas satisfy us. Education and Philosophy should be praised as a rare and necessary act of educational insubordination.’ Maurizio Toscano, University of Melbourne.


Philosophy is vital to the study of education, and a sound knowledge of different philosophical perspectives leads to a deeper engagement with the choices and commitments you make within your educational practice.

This introductory text provides a core understanding of key moments in the history of Western philosophy. By introducing key transition points in that history, it investigates the plight of present day education, a period in which the aims and purposes of education have become increasingly unclear, leaving education open to the rise of instrumentalism and the forces of capital.

Accessibly written, the book carefully analyses the common assumptions and conflicted history of education, provoking questioning about its nature and purposes. The authors argue vigorously that thinking critically about education from a philosophical perspective will give practising and trainee teachers, as well as students on undergraduate Education and Masters-level courses a fuller command of their own role and context.



Allen, A. & Goddard, R. (2019) Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain.


Carr, W. (2019) Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain; Bojesen, E. (2019) Educational Philosophy and Theory, 51(10), 1061–1062; Gibbs, S. (2018) DECP Debate.

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