Ten Basic Questions About Education

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This book, presuming that the makers of policies and everyday decisions on education do not employ an adequate understanding of education, undertakes an extended inquiry into the concept of education embedded in ordinary English discourse. After determining the framework of the conceptual meaning of education, the investigation then examines the logical implications of that meaning for various pertinent issues. Specifically, there are discussions of educability, education and the political order, reasoning as an educational content, and educational teaching. Some of the text relies on references to academic sources, while other parts use examples from pop culture and computer technology. The book’s final chapter is devoted to an application of the findings to some problems likely to be confronted by educational leaders in public schools today.


“The basic argument of this book rests on nothing if not the conviction that parents, principals, legislators and others who make decisions about education are very much in need of a conceptual foundation. Unfortunately, readily available sources of ideas of the nature of education are problematic ... Through his discussion of the issues, Dr. Heslep reaches a framework for educational leaders that consists of checklist of five questions that such leaders need to ask themselves when dealing with issues and problems. It seems appropriate that a book asking theoretical questions about education should conclude with a list of questions addressed especially to practitioners ...” – (from the Preface) Professor Deron R. Boyles, Georgia State University

“Dr. Heslep builds a careful argument aimed at providing current educators and educational theorists with a means to distinguish true educational questions and issues from other concerns. He develops this strategy most clearly in the last chapter, to which all else builds. His discussion of smart machines is fascinating. Dr. Heslep writes gracefully and with wit ...” – Professor A.G. Rud, Purdue University

“ ... The strengths of this work include its comprehensive examination of the concept of education, which distinguishes it from specialized philosophical treatments of education typical today, and which represents a contribution to educational discourse and its finely articulated ‘answers,’ each an intricate argument, to each question ... The conclusions that result from Dr. Heslep’s logic will provoke in many readers fresh thinking and provide surprising insights about this ubiquitous human activity ...” – Professor William G. Wraga, University of Georgia

Table of Contents

Preface by Deron R. Boyles
1. What is a Basic Question about Education?
2. What is Education?
3. What is an Educable Being?
4. Just Any Esteemed Mode of Life?
5. What Form of Educative Content Must Reasoning Have?
6. Does an Educated Being have a Self?
7. Which Feelings Might Be Educational Content?
8. Must Education Have Semiotic Content?
9. What is Educative Teaching?
10. Significance for Current Educational Practice?

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