A Contractualist Approach to Political Education
Politically neutral pedagogy is often the subject of both praise and condemnation. But treating political neutrality as a principle to be either embraced or rejected confuses the issue, because the permissibility of neutrality actually varies across educational contexts. Educational practice should not be evaluated on the basis of whether or not it is politically neutral, but in terms of the specific burdens it places on individual interests. Contractualism, as an account of moral permissibility, is well-suited to the task of identifying when, and why, educators may permissibly aspire to politically neutral pedagogy. In particular, it identifies judicious adherence to political neutrality as a practical classroom approach to preventing legislative interference with permissible non-neutrality.