David Hansen's Lecture: Is Education Possible Today?
David Hansen's Weinberg lecture poses the question whether education is possible today. He addresses three prevalent responses to the question: (1) that it is obviously possible since we can see all around us teachers and students working in classrooms, (2) that it is obviously not possible because the educational system has been subverted to serve the ends of a global economic order, and (3) that education remains possible because of the inextinguishable human quest for meaning even in the face of unjust societal conditions. Hansen also argues that while there is evidence to support the three responses, they all in eff ect dismiss the question of education's possibility and thus undermine its authentic enactment. Hansen suggests that the question of education is the one question we need to keep open in order to ensure the continuation of education itself. David Hansen was recently named the John L. and Sue Ann Weinberg Professor in the Historical and Philosophical Foundations of Education at Teachers College. His books include the widely cited The Call to Teach (1995), Exploring the Moral Heart of Teaching (2001), Ethical Visions of Education (2007), and most recently The Teacher and the World (2011).
David Hansen is a Past-President of the John Dewey Society and of the Philosophy of Education Society, and is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association. He is currently leading a funded three-year-long inquiry, alongside sixteen teachers from New York City schools, that is entitled "What does it mean to be a person in the world today?"