The Idea of Education.

PRESTON, David Seth (Ed.)
Amsterdam/New York, NY, 2003, XIII, 203 pp.
Pb: 978-90-420-1146-5 / 90-420-1146-7
€ 44 / US$ 62

At the Interface/Probing the Boundaries

“Contains a number of insights and ideas for curriculum reform that will be of interest to the majority of universities. …clearly an enriching book”
Ethical Perspectives 12 (2005) 3

This book represents a ‘position statement’ from the intellectually vibrant and challenging debate that emanated from the inaugural conference project launch entitled 'The Idea of Education' held at Mansfield College, Oxford in July 2002.

The book conveys a wide spectrum of views about 'the idea of education' in recognition of the fact that 'the idea' is not as straightforward as it may appear on the surface. It seems the universities are not alone in this apparent uncertainty of definition. Further Education seems equally nonplussed as regard its purpose or raison d'être. Furthermore, even for those within the sector, it appears to be a point of much contention as to where Further Education ends and Higher Education begins.

The book is divided into three main sections: The Current Structures of Education, Issues within Contemporary Education and The Ambitions of Education. The chapters wrestle, sometimes at variance with each other, with the paradoxes and concerns felt by each writer grappling with the idea of education.

PART I The Current Structures of Education
Muir HOUSTON, Hazel KNOX and Annie MacGILLIVRAY: The Search for Quality: Changing Roles in a Changing Academic Environment
Seth A. AGBO: A Learning Community Model for Professional Development and Transformational Teacher Education: Linking Teacher Preparation with In-Service Teacher Learning and School Improvement
Peter LONG, Tony TRICKER & Margaret RANGECROFT: Measuring Aspects of Student Satisfaction with Course Provision
Georgia N. NIKOLAIDOU: Music Curriculum: An Effective Interface Between Teacher and Pupils in the Primary School
Nancy LEVESQUE: Partners in Education: The Role of the Academic Library
PART II Issues Within Contemporary Education
Colin TROTMAN and Heather PUDNER: Higher Education and Social Impact: A Community Education role to widen participation
Paul Leonard GALLINA: Whistleblowing, Clinical Trials and the Academy: Some Recent Ethical and Public Policy
Nikolas PATSAVOS: Business, Research, Architecture
Part III The Ambitions of Education
Tom CLAES: Definitions of ‘the university’ as Arguments in the Evaluative Discussion on ‘the university’
David Seth PRESTON: The Evolution of the English University Mission
Jan PARKER: Aspirational Higher Education
Robert GRANT: Schooling: The Principle, The Practice And The Institution
Notes on Contributors