AEFP 43rd Annual Conference Program
Chair:, University of Texas at Dallas
Chair:, University of Connecticut
Chair:, Naval Postgraduate School
Chair:, University of Wisconsin - Madison
Chair:, North Carolina State University
Chair:, Duke University
Most education policy makers and practitioners want to make decisions that are consistent with their values. A significant problem, however, is that many do not have the language they need to think carefully about the desired outcomes of the education system, how they can be best distributed, and how to make trade-offs among them in light of the available evidence.
With their recently published book, Educational Goods: Values, Evidence and Decision Making (University of Chicago Press, 2018) two policy analysts and two philosophers (Helen Ladd, Susanna Loeb, Harry Brighouse, and Adam Swift) hope to improve education decision making by broadening the language used to talk about the outcomes of the education process to include the concepts of “educational goods.” This term refers to the knowledge, skills, attitudes and dispositions that enable one to lead a flourishing life and to contribute to the flourishing of others. Educational goods are generated not only by schools but also by families and communities and include a variety of capacities, among which are the capacity to function in the labor market, to participate as a citizen in the political process, to lead a fulfilling life, and to treat other people with dignity. By introducing this new term, the authors hope to give education decision makers the language needed to promote a richer education system and to help them to think more explicitly and carefully about the values they are trying to promote.
In this session, two education researchers and two policy practitioners (one federal, one state) will discuss and evaluate the concept of educational goods and its usefulness for education decision making.