This is a speculative response to the article published in this journal by Fernando Gil Cantero and David Reyero advocating the priority of philosophy of education on empirical research. This answer is based on four arguments: Contemporary empirical research involves an ontology rather complex than it is assumed in their paper.The relationship between both disciplines takes place at two levels: At the most general level they are interdependent; at the lower level, close to the action, they can not contradict each other. In order to apply knowledge coming from both disciplines to practical problems, an epistemic intermediary is necessary. This intermediary combines principles derived from both disciplines, but also additional assumptions that jointly shape a pedagogical normative. The epistemic intermediary is what we call the professional wisdom, whose intertwined components are wisdom and technology, both necessary for the professional performance of teachers.
The process towards an European Union seems not to have taken into account the need for an European dimension in education until recently. However, this dimension has been extremely reinforced by the means of different European programmes which have been launched in the past few years. According to this general idea, this article describes and analyses the main phases in the generation of an European Commission's education policy, as follows: 1957-1970, with a main concern on economic matters; 1971-1986, first steps to a common education policy; 1986-1992, the educational programmes; and 1992-1995, review and harmonisation of the educational programmes.
The information society, that is based on the technological revolution, is already a fact. The information and communication technologies also concern the education world -not only commerce and leisure-, and the education policy should take advantage of them.
Our aim in this paper is to establish some benefits and limitations of technologies in education from a policy approach. Computing and telecommunications may serve a market model, or they may be useful to build a democratic and egalitarian society, or both. For the moment policy discourse is driven from the perspective of markets, rather than from a perspective which places the priority on the needs of the democratic process. It is argued that educational environments are suitable contexts to foster citizensâ?? involvement in the information society in a moral way.
Key words: Education Policy, New Technologies, Democracy Models, Equality in Education, Lifelong Learning.
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