Common Sense: A Theory of Inherent Knowledge

‘What can I come to know ?’. As a starting point I have chosen ‘to look to the teacher of the thinker you admire’ as a place to evolve new perspectives and utilise convenient frameworks to create scaffoldings in my attempt to formulate this thesis of common sense. Admiring the stories written about Socrates, I thought it would be interesting to take the peers and teachers of Socrates as pivot points to generate thinking.
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Invisible Colleges and Owning Our Common Intellectual Heritage

The 17th century holds an important history in the development of thought.  It saw people like Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes formulate questioning ways of thinking in our world, encouraging and establishing cultures of exploring the world in which we live, and cultivating a personal relationship with the knowledge of the universe. They confronted the taboo of personal ownership of knowledge through the embracing of skepticism – the need to query the things we have been told and think we know are true – and the application of their efforts to question the ‘regimes of truth’ (a phrase which Professor Penny Jane Burke coins) which existed in their time, as now.
Rene Descartes is a critical figure in modern Western philosophy who lived from 1596 to 1650. His skeptic methodology deeply affected Western cultures and set the scene for more open intellectual enquiry. Through formulating his famous method of doubt he shifted the debate from “what is true” to “of what can I be certain?”.  To this he is best known for the philosophical statement is “Cogito ergo sum” – “I think, therefore I am”.  This provided a revolutionary basis for the questioning of traditions of thinking which had stretched across the medievel period. Read more…

Social Justice Issues and the Valuation of People as Knowledgeable

In this article I am going to try and identify certain social justice issues involved with valuing the individual outside of the formal education context.  I will be dealing with the premise of what a just society is, and suggesting that if a person has some knowledge which is prevented from being valued then they are being excluded from society. Their being is withheld from acknowledgement, and by virtue of that, their liberty is taken from them as they are prevented from engaging in and with a community of peers. Read more…

Bec Sanderson Leads Session On Picturing What Good Values Education

What is good values education and what relationship does it have to the notion of character ?  Bec Sanderson led a number of sessions teasing out these ideas and the problems associated with developing a clear picture of what this means.
Gary Walsh (Character Scotland), Bec Sanderson (the Public Interest Research Centre), Rob Bowden (Lifeworlds Learning) and Abi Cornwall (Learning for Sustainability Scotland) worked together to develop a conference on Character and Values on 20 – 21st November 2014.  The days were recorded and podcast as one of the outcomes of the day was to stimulate further action in these areas. Read more…

Widening Participation: Power, Knowledge and Silence; A Digest

Critical theoretical frameworks are particularly helpful in developing a conceptual framework of widening participation which is capable of addressing the complexities, misrecognitions and exclusions that play out in educational fields such as colleges and universities. Continuities in wider participation have included struggles over access for particular social and cultural groups, notions of meritocracy and liberalism, concerns with fairness and social justice and attention to patterns of social exclusion and mobility. Read more…