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Tag Archives: Philosophy of Learning and Teaching

Joanna Swann's New Book


Learning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st Century: An Evolutionary Analysis of the Role of Teachers

By Joanna Swann

Publication dates: 22 December 2011 in theUK; 23 February 2012 in theUSA

ISBN:  9781441163172 (paperback); 9781441161260 (hardcover)

Learning, Teaching and Education Research in the 21st Century: An Evolutionary Analysis of the Role of Teachers draws on Karl Popper’s evolutionary epistemology and challenges widespread assumptions about learning, teaching and research that are embedded in the practices of many teachers and in the design of most education institutions worldwide. Joanna Swann argues that to promote the growth of learning we need to encourage children and adolescents to exercise and develop their facility for creativity and criticality, and that we need to provide and maintain environments in which they can safely engage in self-initiated and self-directed exploratory activity. In accessible and engaging language, the author presents philosophical arguments that support the defence and development of non-authoritarian approaches to learning and teaching that can be used by individuals and groups working in or outside state-funded schools. In particular, she provides tried-and-tested guidelines for student-initiated curricula and a problem-based methodology for professional development and action research.

Joanna Swann is a Popperian philosopher of learning and method, known internationally for her innovative theoretical and practical explorations of the implications of evolutionary epistemology for teaching and education research. Formerly a Principal Lecturer at the University of Brighton, UK, she is now a freelance author.



Acknowledgements \ 1. The Purpose of this Book \ Part I: Learning \ 2. The Challenge of an Evolutionary Analysis of Learning \ 3. What Happens When We Learn \ 4. Addressing Some Problematic Ideas About Learning \ Part II: Encouraging Learning \ 5. What Promotes and What Inhibits Learning \ 6. Against the Intensive Use of Prescribed Curricula with Children and Adolescents \ 7. Developing Student-Initiated Curricula \ Part III: Developing Teaching \ 8. Research and the Development of Teaching \ 9. Developing a Popperian Science of School Teaching \ 10. Improving Our Practices as Teachers \ 11. Teaching for a Better World \ References \ Publisher Acknowledgements \ Index


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