Cosmopolitanism as a Philosophy for Life in Our Time

David Hansen

Abstract


Educators the world over struggle with contemporary conditions that militate against their vocation. Endless top-down accountability measures, rapid economic turns and inequality in supportive resources, a torrent of consumerist media stimuli that distract educational focus, and other forces require educators to work that much harder to sustain serious educational values. In this article, I put forward a cultural and ethical vision of cosmopolitanism as an orientation that can help educators in their work. This vision pivots around teachers and students learning to fuse reflective openness to new people, ideas, values and practices with reflective loyalty to local commitments and ways of life. This orientation mirrors how the school can become a cosmopolitan canopy. The school can become a place in which all participants develop ethical strength and perspective in order to respond thoughtfully and actively, rather than react passively, to today’s pressures.

Keywords


Cosmopolitanism, education, schools, tradition, philosophy

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