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Future Directions for Research

After dissertation, I will continue research in both the intellectual history and philosophy of education. Particularly, I pay close attention to various critical voices of public schooling, from conservative critics in the 1950's and 1960's to critical pedagogues of today. Giving attention to the intellectual history of public education's critics (of varying ideology) can add historical depth to the complicated picture of why schools, and debates surrounding them, are they way they are, as well as propel future discussion about what schools should be.

My dissertation research has led to several possible avenues for future research. First, while my current work focuses on pro-market (political) libertarians, I have left another group of educational libertarians (advocates of deschooling and anti-authoritarian models of education) unexplored. I would like to look at the historical roots of educational libertarianism (in philosophers like William Godwin and Herbert Spencer).

Another possible project
inspired by my dissertation is an analysis of the ways various thinkers have read the educational works of John Dewey, and how these interpretations often seem  influenced by the philosophical "lens" used by the interpreter. (For instance, libertarian historian Joel Spring suggests that Dewey was a misunderstood individualist who's message we must reclaim, while conservative educational critics, like Rousas Rushdoony interprets Dewey as a secular collectivist whose influence we must reject (and replace with a more traditional homeschooling).

it is my aim to inform current educational movements and discussions (market approaches to education, critical pedagogy, etc) by providing historical context, looking at how these ideas evolved into their present form. In doing this, I hope to make current debates more robust and informed.