Hayek and liberal pedagogy

  • Robert F. GarnettJr.Email author


The author employs Hayek’s concepts of knowledge and spontaneous order to outline a learning-centered alternative to teacher- and student-centered pedagogies. In a Hayekian classroom, learning (intellectual order) emerges from a polycentric web of instruction, study, conversation, frustration, and discovery that continually elicits and tests the knowledge claims of students and teachers. Yet, unlike Hayek’s impersonal market process, the process of liberal learning is both personal and impersonal. To capture this hybridity, the author supplements Hayek’s insights with those of Parker Palmer, a liberal educator whose analysis of the classroom as a community of truth is attuned to the interpersonal dimensions of knowing and learning.


Knowledge Learning Teaching Pedagogy Liberal education Spontaneous order 

JEL codes

A2 B3 B5 



I am especially grateful to Emily Chamlee-Wright for encouraging me to pursue this project, and to Emily, Steve Horwitz, Paul Lewis, Scott Beaulier, and an anonymous referee for their valuable comments on previous drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EconomicsTexas Christian UniversityFort WorthUSA

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