Harvard Educational Review
  1. Spring 2014 Issue »

    Parental Authority over Education and the Right to Invite

    BRYAN R. WARNICK
    In this article, Bryan R. Warnick explores parents’ authority to make educational decisions for their children. In philosophical debates, three types of arguments are typically invoked to justify parents’ rights: arguments based on the welfare interests of children, arguments based on the expressive interests of parents, and arguments based on the property rights of parents. While each captures something important about parenting, these arguments ultimately fail, on philosophical grounds, to establish a substantial right to educational authority. In light of this failure, the author advances two arguments. First, he proposes a new type of argument for parental authority based on the sacrificial labor of parenting—that is, on the physical and emotional work associated with caring for children. Within the sphere of family life, the unique nature of parental sacrificial labor is honored as parents are given rights to raise their children, including a right to expose their children to their preferred way of life, which he terms the right to invite. This encompasses the right to make educational decisions, including the removal of children from public schools. Second, Warnick argues that the child’s lack of consent to receive this sacrificial labor—essentially the inability to choose one’s parents—underscores the need to protect the development of autonomy in children. Parents, therefore, cannot foreclose exposure to cultural alternatives that schools often provide as they exercise their right to invite.

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    Bryan R. Warnick is an associate of professor of philosophy of education in the Department of Educational Studies at Ohio State University, where he also serves as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Education and Human Ecology. His areas of interest include philosophy of education, ethics of education, learning theory, and educational technology. His current focus is on the area of student rights and the moral character of school environments. He has published articles in Harvard Educational Review, Teachers College Record, Theory and Research in Education, and Educational Theory, among many others. He is the author of Imitation and Education (State University of New York Press, 2008) and Understanding Student Rights: Religion, Speech, and Privacy in Educational Settings (Teachers College Press, 2013). 
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    Spring 2014 Issue

    Abstracts

    What Are We Seeking to Sustain Through Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy?
    A Loving Critique Forward
    DJANGO PARIS and H. SAMY ALIM
    “A Slow Revolution”
    Toward a Theory of Intellectual Playfulness in High School Classrooms
    SARAH M. FINE
    Designing Educative Curriculum Materials
    A Theoretically and Empirically Driven Process
    ELIZABETH A. DAVIS, ANNEMARIE SULLIVAN PALINCSAR, ANNA MARIA ARIAS, AMBER SCHULTZ BISMACK, LOREN M. MARULIS, STEFANIE K. IWASHYNA
    Parental Authority over Education and the Right to Invite
    BRYAN R. WARNICK
    Symposium: Culturally Sustaining Pedagogy
    Culturally Relevant Pedagogy 2.0
    a.k.a. the Remix
    GLORIA LADSON-BILLINGS
    Critical Culturally Sustaining/Revitalizing Pedagogy and Indigenous Education Sovereignty
    TERESA L. McCARTY and TIFFANY S. LEE

    Book Notes

    Schooling Hip-hop
    Edited by Marc Lamont Hill and Emery Petchauer; foreword by Jeff Chang

    Charter Schools and the Corporate Makeover of Public Education
    By Michael Fabricant & Michelle Fine

    Global Education Policy and International Development
    Edited by Antoni Verger, Mario Novelli, and Hülya Kosar Altinyelken