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The Educated Mind

How Cognitive Tools Shape Our Understanding

The Educated Mind offers a bold and revitalizing new vision for today’s uncertain educational system. Kieran Egan reconceives education, taking into account how we learn. He proposes the use of particular "intellectual tools"—such as language or literacy—that shape how we make sense of the world. These mediating tools generate successive kinds of understanding: somatic, mythic, romantic, philosophical, and ironic. Egan’s account concludes with practical proposals for how teaching and curriculum can be changed to reflect the way children learn.

"A carefully argued and readable book. . . . Egan proposes a radical change of approach for the whole process of education. . . . There is much in this book to interest and excite those who discuss, research or deliver education."—Ann Fullick, New Scientist

"A compelling vision for today’s uncertain educational system."—Library Journal

"Almost anyone involved at any level or in any part of the education system will find this a fascinating book to read."—Dr. Richard Fox, British Journal of Educational Psychology

"A fascinating and provocative study of cultural and linguistic history, and of how various kinds of understanding that can be distinguished in that history are recapitulated in the developing minds of children."—Jonty Driver, New York Times Book Review

Read the introduction.
Additional material related to The Educated Mind can be found on Egan’s website.

310 pages | 6 x 9 | © 1997

Cognitive Science: General Works

Education: Philosophy of Education

Table of Contents

Part One
1. Three Old Ideas and a New One
2. Mythic Understanding
3. Romantic Understanding
4. Philosophic Understanding
5. Ironic Understanding and Somatic Understanding
6. Some Questions and Answers
Part Two
7. Some Implications for the Curriculum
8. Some Implications for Teaching

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