The ungraded life is not worth living? Criteria compliance in the philosophy classroom
Sammanfattning: Following the educational reforms of the 1990s and the focus on measurable results and achievement documentation, teachers and learners in Sweden have increasingly come to embrace an instrumentalist view on knowledge at the cost of lifelong learning. As market discourse and economic interests have gained ground in the educational realm, the democratic and humanist dimensions of learning and knowledge have diminished in size, in discourse as well as empirical practice. “Criteria compliance” is a way of existing within the educational institution and one´s role as a teacher. As teachers and learners adhere to administrative rather than pedagogical parameters of education, formative assessment and a more interpersonal, meta-cognitive approach to learning are bypassed altogether. A compliance to externally set knowledge criteria entails particularly problematic consequences for philosophy teaching, since an active engagement with philosophy requires an open-ended classroom climate and an unrestrained flow of thought. These aspects are neglected, due to the administrative pressure to measure and document learner achievements. In order to guard philosophy and philosophy teaching from the demands set by market discourse and criteria compliance, the collegial aspect of teaching must be strengthened and the professional pride of teachers restored.
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