Disciplines and the aims of an education

Clio et cetera

I am currently reading Alasdair MacIntyre’s After Virtue. The following brief passage summarises, in a nutshell, the role that academic disciplines have to play in education.

A practice ‘is never just a set of technical skills, even when directed towards some unified purpose and even if the exercise of those skills can on occasion be valued or enjoyed for their own sake. What is distinctive in a practice is in part the way in which conceptions of the relevant goods and ends which the technical skills serve – and every practice does require the exercise of technical skills – are transformed and enriched by these extensions of human powers and by that regard for its own internal goods which are partially definitive of each particular practice or type of practice (After Virtue, p.225).’


The problem with ‘outcome-based education’ is that it defines a practice (such as physics, history or…

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