Discipleship or Pilgrimage?

The Educator's Quest for Philosophy

By Tony W. Johnson

Subjects: Education
Series: SUNY series, The Philosophy of Education
Paperback : 9780791425046, 208 pages, August 1995
Hardcover : 9780791425039, 208 pages, August 1995

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Table of contents

Notes from the Series Editor, Philip L. Smith

Foreword by Bruce Wilshire

1. Introduction and Overview

2. Nineteenth Century Origins of Educational Philosophy

3. Educational Philosophy in the Twentieth Century

4. The Professionalization of Philosophy and Educational Philosophy

5. Postmodernist Critiques of Philosophy and Educational Philosophy

6. Philosophy as Education: Reviving Dewey's Vision

7. Philosophy for Children: Implementing Dewey's Vision

8. Educational Philosophy: Discipleship or Pilgrimage?


Subject Index

Index of Names

This interpretive history and critique of educational philosophy offers a reexamination and reconstruction of John Dewey's vision.


Discipleship or Pilgrimage? is an interpretive history of the field of educational philosophy—what it's been, where it is now, and what it ought to be. Implicit in Johnson's analysis is the belief that educational philosophy will not survive much longer. For educational philosophers to become significant players in the reconstruction of our educational system, they must focus on the classroom, both as instructors in the university classroom and as members of teams preparing prospective teachers. By focusing on the educational philosopher as pilgrim—as an educator engaged in an unending quest for meaning—the author suggests that it is not too late to reconstruct the field.

Tony W. Johnson is Associate Professor of Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations and Director of the Teachers Academy at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.


"Tony Johnson's book contains an explosive thesis: that philosophers of education make assumptions about knowing, learning, and the value of professionalism that are self-defeating and educationally destructive. In delineating these ironies, Johnson deepens the critique of the professionalized, departmentalized university. I commend this book to your close attention." — From the Preface by Bruce Wilshire, author of The Moral Collapse of the University"

In my judgment, the author delivers a scathing, yet well intended indictment of what the field of philosophy of education has become. At the end he offers us a vision of how the field might repair itself. His ideas are both accurate and insightful."— Philip L. Smith, The Ohio State University School of Education