2004
Volume 114 Number 4
  • ISSN: 0002-5275
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1244

Abstract

Abstract

Recent incidents indicate how educational activities aimed at raising political awareness are perceived by some as forms of ‘indoctrination’. This article explores, firstly, how philosophical perspectives might help us understand the notion of indoctrination in education. Drawing on the work of Hannah Arendt and Michael Hand, two notions of ‘indoctrination’ are discussed and subsequently problematized in light of classroom practices. Expanding our perspective to the larger historical context of reflections on education and democracy, we then show how the dilemma of indoctrination should be understood as part of a tradition in pedagogical thinking that emphasizes the complex dynamics of socialization and critical thinking in education. Finally, we argue that from a pedagogical perspective, the issue is not whether or not certain educational activities might be forms of indoctrination, but to what extent these activities provide students an opportunity for both socialization and critical inquiry.

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