Harvard Educational Review
  1. Summer 2018 Issue »

    Friday Night Lights Out

    The End of Football in Schools

    RANDALL CURREN AND J. C. BLOKHUIS
    In this essay, ethicists grounded in philosophy (Curren) and law (Blokhuis) argue that the US public schools’ sponsorship of tackle football is ethically indefensible and inconsistent with their educational aims. Their argument relies on three ethical principles and a growing body of evidence that many students who play football suffer traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairment that undermine their academic success and life prospects, whether or not they suffer concussions. The authors also address educational claims made on behalf of football, the legal principles governing custodial responsibilities of schools and parents, factors that limit the moral and legal significance of children’s consent to participate in football programs, and evidence that sponsorship of football programs subjects educational institutions to unsustainable financial risk. 

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    Randall Curren is a professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Educational Leadership at the University of Rochester. His work spans educational philosophy and ethics, moral psychology, social and political philosophy, and ancient Greek philosophy. He is the author of Aristotle on the Necessity of Public Education (Rowman & Littlefield, 2000), a coauthor of Living Well Now and in the Future: Why Sustainability Matters (with Ellen Metzger, MIT Press, 2017) and Patriotic Education in a Global Age (with Charles Dorn, University of Chicago Press, 2018), and editor of A Companion to the Philosophy of Education (Blackwell, 2003) and Philosophy of Education: An Anthology (Blackwell, 2007). Curren was the Ginny and Robert Loughlin Founders’ Circle Member at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, in 2012–2013.

    J. C. Blokhuis, a former Kluge Fellow at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC, is an associate professor of social development studies at Renison University College, University of Waterloo, where he teaches courses on children’s rights, foundations of education, and public policy. His work has appeared in journals, including Theory and Research in Education, Educational Theory, and Public Affairs Quarterly. He is a coauthor, most recently, of Education Law, 5th ed. (Routledge, 2014) and of The Challenge of Children’s Rights for Canada, 2nd ed. (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2018).
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    Summer 2018 Issue

    Abstracts

    Friday Night Lights Out
    The End of Football in Schools
    RANDALL CURREN AND J. C. BLOKHUIS

    Book Notes

    Teaching Controversial Issues
    Nel Noddings and Laurie Brooks

    Learning as Development
    Daniel A. Wagner