chapter  5
19 Pages

Disciplines of knowledge, disciplined interests and student agency

In this chapter I initially argue that discipline needs to be reclaimed for education , as recently dominant discourses of discipline are problematic at the levels of theory, policy and practice. I thereafter consider two different ways in which discipline might be reclaimed in education, for the ends of education. Following Peters and Hirst I fi rst suggest that it is educationally important for students to be disciplined by knowledge . Unlike Kant and Foucault, both Peters and Hirst thought that discipline could be a positive part of education. According to Hirst and Peters, discipline is not just about restraining student unruliness. Instead, coming to understand educationally valuable knowledge takes significant student discipline. However, following MacIntyre, I also suggest there is an educational need for disciplines of knowledge and wider social orders to be continually questioned, and where necessary, remade. Second, I document the views of Pat Wilson and Dewey on how discipline might serve the ends of education. They agreed that students should fi rst and foremost be disciplined by interest rather than traditions of knowledge. Dewey stressed that discipline is a disposition of persistence and endurance in the face of challenge and diffi culty. It is a positive quality of learners because of the agency they exercise over their learning and conduct.