Speaking of Teaching: Lessons from History focuses on teaching as a fundamental act of all human beings, viewing the question of teaching through the lens of five famous thinkers and two contemporary problems. Moran argues that teaching is not given the attention that it deserves and proposes to situate school teaching in the context of many forms of teaching. Tracing the history of the idea of teaching from Socrates to Wittgenstein in the first several chapters, this book also examines the intricacies of teaching morality and religion, showcasing society's ambivalence about teaching.
As usual, Gabriel Moran has brought an extraordinary panoramic perspective to bear on the study of teaching. Since the words 'learning' and 'learner' have become almost idolized in educational discourse, it is more than timely for a thoughtful treatise exploring what it means to teach in the light of great historical writings related to the topic. An excellent follow-up to Showing How: The Act of Teaching (1997), it not only clarifies the notion of teaching, it sows the seeds for many important practical implications for teaching in various contexts.
Moran's important book engages ideas of great educational commentators—from Plato to Wittgenstein—to draw the reader into an exploration of teaching. The wide-ranging discussion focuses in two central chapters on the question as to whether morality and religion can be taught. This is an excellent book by a remarkable educator, whose wisdom, knowledge, and insight permeate the whole text.
Speaking of Teaching is clear, well-written, original, and refreshingly ambitious.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 Plato and His Students Chapter 3 Augustine despite Aquinas Chapter 4 Rousseau: Teaching Emile and Sophie Chapter 5 Dewey: Why So Misunderstood? Chapter 6 Can Morality Be Taught? Chapter 7 Can Religion Be Taught? Chapter 8 Wittgenstein: I'll Teach You Differences Chapter 9 Conclusion