Philosophy of Education is Bent

Cris Mayo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Troubled times in education means that philosophers of education, who seem to never stop making defenses of our field, have to do so with more flexibility and a greater understanding of how peripheral we may have become. The only thing worse than a defensive philosopher is a confident and certain philosopher, so it may be that our very marginality will give us renewed energies for problematizing education. Occupying our marginal position carefully and in concert with other marginal inquiries, I think, will do our field good. Because of its attention to what it takes to be willing to learn and to approach theoretical and real world obstacles with open if cautious interest, philosophy of education is about holding concepts and movements in tension, bending the implications of commonplace, commonsensical ideas about education, and carefully examining the all of these maneuvers for the exclusions they wittingly and unwittingly produce. Problematizing the certainties derived from majoritarian positions, be it whiteness, Westernness, or any other dominant perspective, can provide us with a diversity of claims to scrutinize and epistemological positions to be wary of.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)471-476
Number of pages6
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011


  • Accountability
  • Marginality
  • Philosophy of education
  • Queer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Philosophy


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