Was Peters Nearly Right About Education?


Correspondence: Robin Barrow, Faculty of Education, Simon Fraser University, 8888 University Drive, Burnaby, BC, V5A 1S6, Canada.
Email: robin_barrow@sfu.ca


Richard Peters pioneered a form of philosophical analysis in relation to educational discourse that was criticised by some at the time and is today somewhat out of fashion. This paper argues that much of the objection to Peters' methodology is based on a misunderstanding of what it does and does not involve, that consequently philosophical analysis is often wrongly seen as one of a number of comparable alternative traditions or approaches to philosophy of education between which one needs to choose, and that, partly consequentially, there is a relative lack of philosophical expertise among today's ‘philosophers of education’. Furthermore, his methodology vindicated, it can be said that Peters was indeed ‘nearly right about education’, perhaps more so than he has subsequently come to believe himself.