The Teacher and the World
A Study of Cosmopolitanism as Education
Routledge – 2012 – 160 pages
Winner of the 2013 American Educational Studies Association's 2013 Critics Choice Award!
Teachers the world over are seeking creative ways to respond to the problems and possibilities generated by globalization. Many of them work with children and youth from increasingly varied backgrounds, with diverse needs and capabilities. Others work with homogeneous populations and yet are aware that their students will encounter many cultural changes in their lifetimes. All struggle with the contemporary conditions of teaching: endless top-down measures to manipulate what they do, rapid economic turns and inequality in supportive resources that affect their lives and those of their students, a torrent of media stimuli that distract educational focus, and growth as well as shifts in population.
In The Teacher and the World, David T. Hansen provides teachers with a way to reconstruct their philosophies of education in light of these conditions. He describes an orientation toward education that can help them to address both the challenges and opportunities thrown their way by a globalized world. Hansen builds his approach around cosmopolitanism, an ancient idea with an ever-present and ever-beautiful meaning for educators. The idea pivots around educating for what the author calls reflective openness to new people and new ideas, and reflective loyalty toward local values, interests, and commitments.
The book shows how this orientation applies to teachers at all levels of the system, from primary through university. Hansen deploys many examples to illustrate how its core value, a balance of reflective openness to the new and reflective loyalty to the known, can be cultivated while teaching different subjects in different kinds of settings. The author draws widely on the work of educators, scholars in the humanities and social sciences, novelists, artists, travellers and others from both the present and past, as well as from around the world. These diverse figures illuminate the promise in a cosmopolitan outlook on education in our time.
In this pioneering book, Hansen has provided teachers, heads of school, teacher educators, researchers, and policy-makers a generative way to respond creatively to the pressure and the promise of a globalizing world.
Preface 1. A Perspective on Teaching and Education for Our Time 2. Becoming a Teacher in and of the World 3. On the Human Condition and its Educational Challenge 4. Cultural Crossroads and Creativity 5. Curriculum and Teaching in and for the World Epilogue Cosmos, Demos, and the Teacher
David T. Hansen is Professor and Director of the Program in Philosophy and Education at the Teachers College, Columbia University