A number of classic writers from Plato to Paulo Freire are essential to understanding contemporary debates about education. This module enables an in-depth critical study of three contrasting and complementary texts from different historical periods that have shaped the language and concepts with which we think about education and childhood. Your reading of these texts will be informed by historical context and their reception in contemporary educational literature. You will be encouraged to engage with questions the texts raise about the status of knowledge, the nature of human flourishing, and the vocation of the educator. You will need to connect and compare the texts with each other and with key contemporary debates in educational policy and practice. You will ask questions about the legacy of our intellectual inheritance and the lessons that we can learn from the thinkers of the past.

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