Educational Metamorphoses: Philosophical Reflections on Identity and Culture

A preeminent philosopher of education in the United States, Jane Roland Martin challenges conventional wisdom that education consists of small, incremental changes within a student’s life. Using case studies of personal transformations, or metamorphoses, Martin examines Malcolm X, George Bernard Shaw’s Eliza Doolittle, Victor – the Wild Boy of Aveyron, Minik the Inuit Child, and several others to demonstrate how substantial personal change can be and how vital education is as a fundamental determinant of the human condition. Martin’s study results in three important claims: that each of us undergoes personal metamorphoses as a result of education; that these changes can result in a radically altered identity and can therefore be either good or bad; and that each change constitutes a culture crossing which can be accompanied by feelings of guilt, accusations of betrayal, alienation, and a sense of loss.

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    By Aviva on April 02, 2017

    Thought-provoking, inspiring, and immediately relevant I read this book last year and have it on my list to re-read during this summer. In respectful disagreement with the last reviewer, you do not need a background in educational foundations or philosophy to find this book meaningful. Martin presents stories of personal learning experiences as people are immersed in human culture–fictional, biographical, and autobiographical stories that, for better or worse, reveal how education can lead to life-altering changes. Martin asks us to consider how…

    By Nicholas on April 02, 2017

    Deeply philosophical, thus a bit boring

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