Author(s)Cuthbert, Alka Sehgal
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AbstractThis is the accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Wiley at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/soc4.12233/abstract.
To date there has been little opposition to the growing influence of cognitive neuroscience in education from the education profession itself. However there is growing criticism from the fields of psychology and philosophy. This paper aims to summarize the central arguments found in literature critical of the claims made by cognitive neuroscientists who advocate its potential to improve education. The paper is organised around three sections which draw together assessments from psychology, philosophy and sociology of education. The first, “Brain, Mind and Culture”, lays out the general argument against neuro – education and evaluates two common assumptions made by advocates of neuro-education: that there is a causal relationship between brain and mind; and that learning is a central tenet of education. The second section, “Promises and Problems”, critically considers an example of neuro-educational research, and then goes on to discuss how neuro-education has detrimental consequences for two necessary conditions of liberal subject based education; disciplinarity and pedagogic authority. The final section, “Discourses of Risk, Vulnerability and Optimal Outcomes”, considers wider sociological literature to locate neuro - education within its contemporary cultural context. The paper concludes with a summary of the main philosophical and moral objections to neuro-education.
Sociology Compass Volume 9, Issue 1, pages 49–61, January 2015. DOI: 10.1111/soc4.12233