The paper develops a conceptual framework for understanding the work of ethical remembrance in the classroom. Using David Hansen’s recent example of using Sebald’s novels in his classroom to do the work or remembrance, the paper argues that the effect of Sebald’s novels is best understood using Walter Benjamin’s figure of the angel of history. That figure indicates a view of history that goes beyond the progression of everyday time, to one called remembrance. The paper suggests that the work of (...) mourning effects such remembrance, but simultaneously points to hope through the emergence of weak messianic power. (shrink)
Education is interpreted as something basic to our humanity. As part of our primordial way of being human, education is intrinsic to the understanding’s functioning. At the same time education involves an originary ethical relation to the other, unsettling the self-directed character of the striving to live. And because of its social setting, the call of many others, education orients one to the social, to the call of justice.
In this essay Clarence Joldersma explores radical constructivism through the work of its most well-known advocate, Ernst von Glasersfeld, who combines a sophisticated philosophical discussion of knowledge and truth with educational practices. Joldersma uses Joseph Rouse's work in philosophy of science to criticize the antirealism inherent in radical constructivism, emphasizing that Rouse's Heideggerian critique differs from the standard realist defense of modernist epistemology. Next, Joldersma develops an alternative conception of truth, in terms of disclosure, based on Lambert Zuidervaart's work in (...) aesthetics. Joldersma concludes by arguing that this notion of truth avoids the pitfalls of both realism and antirealism, giving educational theorists a way forward to accept some of the major insights of constructivism with respect to learning and teaching without having to relinquish a robust notion of truth. (shrink)
This paper argues for an alternative notion of spirituality for education, based on Theo de Boer’s idea of a spirituality of the desert. Rather than depicting an inner, additional region named the spiritual, spirituality here is thought of as a discourse that depicts the everyday world in a particular way. In dialogue with David Purpel’s analysis, the paper argues for a notion of spirituality that is located in an ongoing oscillation between ‘the individual’ and ‘the community.’ This oscillation turns out (...) to be the call of justice. This analysis helps understand classroom dynamics differently, providing a place of critique for current practices. (shrink)
Citizenship and its education is again gaining importance in many countries. This paper uses England as its primary example to develop a Habermasian perspective on this issue. The statutory requirements for citizenship education in England imply that significant attention be given to the moral and social development of the learner over time, to the active engagement of the learner in community and to the knowledge skills and understanding necessary for political action. This paper sets out a theoretical framework that offers (...) a perspective on learning suitable for these far-reaching aims. We argue that schools need to shift from the currently dominant discourse of accountability to incorporate a discourse of care in order to make room for an effective and appropriate pedagogy for citizenship. Habermas’s social theory gives us a theoretical framework that properly locates schools within the lifeworld as part of civil society. Schools should therefore attend to hermeneutical and emancipatory concerns, not only to strategic interests. We put these in the context of Habermas’s social theory to paint an alternative vision learning for citizenship education which is based in developing the dispositions, values and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning with a view to developing ongoing communicative action. (shrink)