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Published Articles

Here are links to some of my publications (with abstracts below):

Journal Articles

Currie-Knight, K. (2012). "Education, decentralization, and the knowledge problem: A Hayekian case for decentralized education." Philosophical Studies in Education, 22, 117-127.

Abstract: This paper brings the arguments of economist Friedrich A. Hayek to bear on the problem of centralized decision making in education. Hayek marshaled several arguments against central planning of economies that I will argue should be applied to similar trends in the field of education. Namely, Hayek argued that there was a “knowledge problem” in society, whereby knowledge is naturally dispersed throughout society in such a way that attempts to concentrate it into a single planner or planning board are, at best, inefficient and, at worst, impossible. Just as with economies, attempting to centralize the governance of educational institutions necessarily overlooks the essential role of local and personal knowledge (teachers reacting to the particularities of their student demographic, schools revising their practices in response to local conditions, and so forth) in educational endeavors.


Abstract: Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778) and Thomas Huxley (1852-1895) had different, but substantial, effects on the history of education. Rousseau’s educational theories supplied the intellectual foundation for pedagogical progressivism. Huxley’s educational writings helped to enlarge the scope of the British curriculum to include such things as science and vocational education. In addition to their different impacts on education, Rousseau and Huxley had vastly different ideas on a wide range of topics: most notably, the character of “natural man” and whether society tends to produce or lessen inequality.  In what follows, I will argue that Rousseau’s and Huxley’s different visions of natural man and the desirability of society can largely help explain their different visions of education and its proper purpose.

Currie-Knight, K. (2011). '“The [other] half of knowledge”: John Dewey, Michael Oakeshott, and parallel critiques of rationalism in education.' Bajo Palabra
, 2(6), 63-72

Abstract: In this paper, I argue that despite the many differences between Michael Oakeshott and John Dewey, these two thinkers offer very similar visions of how education should operate. By way of their parallel critiques of Rationalism, both thinkers advocated similar methods of active education. Dewey and Oakeshott‘s similar educational views complexify two often-heard associations: that active pedagogical methods are exclusive with leftward political advocacy, and that liberal education correlates with advocacy of passive, book-centered pedagogy


Book Reviews


Currie-Knight, K. (2011). "Review of Narveson and Sterba's Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?" Libertarian Papers, 3(24).


Abstract: This article reviews Jan Narveson and James Sterba’s co-authored book Are Liberty and Equality Compatible?. Sterba argues that negative liberty requires that the poor have a right not to be interfered with in taking from the rich to fulfill their basic needs. Narveson argues that negative liberty means that people agree not to coerce others and that taking from anyone (without their consent) violates negative liberty. The authors not only differ on this point, but, as contractarians, on what terms reasonable people would likely agree to in a “social contract.”

Currie-Knight, K. (2010) "Review of Cross Purposes by Paula Abrams." Education Review, 13.

Abstract: Cross Purposes is a thorough recounting of a landmark case in the history of American education. At issue was the state of Oregon‟s authority to compel public education, thereby illegalizing private schooling. Paula Abrams not only tells the legal story of Pierce v. Society of Sisters but the social and political story of how a law compelling attendance at public schools got started, why it was supported, and how it ended.