Beyond education for economic productivity alone: The Capabilities Approach

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4 Citations (Scopus)


The Capabilities Approach, as developed by philosopher Martha Nussbaum, provides a much needed re-balancing of aims in education. With its Aristotle-inspired ethical dimension this approach values the capabilities of practical reason and affiliation as critical for individual and societal development. As shown by social science research children continue to face difficulties in society today, whether in respect of educational or psychosocial development. A narrow utilitarian approach in education aimed at economic productivity alone, often prevalent in policy in England, exacerbates this situation. By contrast, it is proposed that the Capabilities Approach, with its broader aims, be embraced in education to help children flourish as engaged actors in society capable of making good judgments individually and with others.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)13-21
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Educational Research
Early online date12 Mar 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


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