KEEPING COMPANY: EDUCATING FOR ONLINE FRIENDSHIP

Mary Healy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The possibility of online Aristotelian virtue friendships via Social Network Sites continues to be raised by philosophers but as yet this has not been positioned within the realm of children or adolescents who are known to be amongst the largest users of social media. Governmental agencies across the globe still struggle to define the boundaries of online usage for children, often depending on school-based curricula highlighting ‘safe-guarding’ online or some form of character education. This, however, often leaves the philosophical thinking behind virtual relationships as incompletely addressed in educational theory, policy and practice, despite there being some very real difficulties for children. Utilizing the insights of Aristotle on friendship, I offer a view that may hold potential for a philosophically- based policy. I outline three different ways this philosophical literature could have implications for education and indicate the types of policy that each might entail. I will contend that there are three distinct stakeholders here that can be identified as having a significant role to play in what we should do: the schools themselves, educational researchers and policy writers. Finally, I suggest ways in which research, policy and practice might link together.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberCBER-2019-0436
Number of pages15
JournalBRITISH EDUCATIONAL RESEARCH JOURNAL
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 16 Jul 2020

Keywords

  • Social Network Sites; online friendship; virtue friendship; character education.

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