A Popperian approach to education for open society

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Karl Popper’s falsificationist epistemology that all knowledge advances through a process of conjectures and refutations carries profound implications for politics and education. In this article, I first argue that, on a political level, it is necessary to establish and maintain an open society by fostering not only five core values, viz. freedom, tolerance, respect, rationalism, and equalitarianism, but also three crucial practices, viz. democracy, state interventionism, and piecemeal social engineering. Then, considering that an open society places great political, and thus educational, demands upon its members, I examine the role played by education in its establishment and maintenance, focusing on its educational aims, curriculum, and pedagogy. Copyright © 2013 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)845-859
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number8
Early online dateJul 2013
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


Lam, C. M. (2013). A Popperian approach to education for open society. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 45(8), 845-859.


  • Karl Popper
  • Open society
  • Education
  • Aims
  • Curriculum
  • Pedagogy


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