Revitalizing Education through Creative Scholarly Inquiry: An Introduction
Donal E. Mulcahy
Wake Forest University
In response the theme “Revitalizing Education: The Creative Task Before Us,”
many thoughtful papers were received for the publication of the 2014 South Atlantic
Philosophy of Education Society’s Yearbook. The selection presented brings together
several varying perspectives on what this call to action means and entails. Education,
whether as a field of scholarly inquiry or as a desired outcome for schooling, continually
faces challenges presented by changing social, economic and political demands. In the
past, education scholarship has taken different forms. In some cases the focus has been on
the examination and explanation of past events and how present day realities are therein
rooted. In other cases the emphasis has been on analysis of psychological or sociological
findings and how they might shape practice. And in others it has been on the
interpretation of ideas and concepts and their implications for policy. Whatever form it
takes, the intended outcome is to find ways that improve teaching and learning; an
outcome that leads us to a better future for schooling.
Our present time is no different. However, the current standards reform
movement comes from a place other than the scholarly community. Rather, in large part
it emanates from legislatures and political appointees or elected officials and clearly
signifies a top down effort. By its very nature, a top down approach represents the few at
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