“Heartful” or “Heartless” Teachers? Or should we look for the Good Somewhere Else? Considerations of Students’ Experience of the Pedagogical Good


Educational practice is concerned in profound ways with what is pedagogically good and right for children, and as parents and teachers we intend to help each child to cultivate his or her personal and educational potential in a human fashion. In the spirit of ancient Aristotle and Plato, Continental pedagogues and philosophers have for centuries explored the meaning of pedagogical practice/praxis and of the pedagogical good, the quality of both being regarded not as a means to an educational end, but as the end itself. But what, indeed, is the pedagogical good, and what is the significance of the pedagogical good for students? Somehow we know the good, and yet we know it not. We recognize the good experientially, but the real meaning of what we intuit eludes our grasp. So how do we explore this elusive pedagogical quality – and is it possible to explore it? Based on phenomenological interviews with both young students and adults recalling episodes from school, as well as artistic narratives, this paper aims to illuminate experiential aspects of the pedagogical good and to reflect on the significance of the good in terms of pedagogical relational practice. It is suggested that the pedagogical good is not a quality that we as teachers can possess, or do, or practise, but rather a relational force beyond our pedagogical practice that opens up the world to children and preconditions the pedagogical relation.

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References found in this work

Truth and Method.H. G. Gadamer - 1975 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36 (4):487-490.
The Sovereignty of Good.Iris Murdoch - 1970 - New York: Schocken Books.

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Citations of this work

Lived Relationality as Fulcrum for Pedagogical–Ethical Practice.Tone Saevi - 2011 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 30 (5):455-461.

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