Martin Heidegger is, perhaps, the most controversial philosopher of the twentieth-century. Little has been written on him or about his work and its significance for educational thought. This unique collection by a group of international scholars reexamines Heidegger's work and its legacy for educational thought.
This paper argues that education itself, properly understood, is intimately concerned with an individual’s being in the world, and therefore is ineluctably environmental. This is guaranteed by the ecstatic nature of consciousness. Furthermore, it is argued that a central dimension of this environment with which ecstatic human consciousness is engaged, is that of nature understood as the ‘self-arising’. Nature, so conceived, is essentially other and is epistemologically mysterious, possessing its own normativity, agency, and intrinsic value. As such, engagement with nature (...) presents opportunities for consciousness quintessentially to go beyond itself, to be inspired and refreshed, and to receive non-anthropogenic standards in the form of intimations of what is fitting and what is not. It will be argued that these are fundamental to the orientation of human being, providing primordial intimations of the nature of reality and truth. Given their centrality to the idea of a person’s becoming educated, the elucidation of these and the issues to which they give rise must be central to the philosophy of education and in this sense it becomes deeply ecological. (shrink)
Considerations arising in the context of burgeoning concerns about the environment can provoke an exploration of issues that have significance both for environmental education in particular and education more generally. Notions of the ‘greater whole’ and ‘systemic wisdom’ that feature in some strands of environmental discourse are a case in point. It is argued that interpretations of these notions arising in currently influential scientific and systems thinking understandings of nature that attempt to overcome a corrosive separation of humankind and nature (...) through a dilution or dismissal of the distinction between the human and non-human, self and other, require critical evaluation if they are not to bring their own dangers. Merleau-Pontian understandings of object constitution in a subjectively informed life-world and ideas of the ‘selving’ of natural things are drawn upon in developing a non-discursively grounded interpretation of systemic wisdom. The latter is taken to raise questions that have considerable transformative potential for conventional views of knowledge and its curriculum organisation. (shrink)
Some strands of environmental concern invite a radical re-evaluation of many taken for granted assumptions of late modern ways of life—particularly those that structure how we relate to the natural world. This article explores some of the implications of such a re-evaluation for our understanding of moral education by examining the significance of ideas of our place in nature that focus not on our location in some grand abstract system, but on our felt sense of place in the course of (...) our daily existence. It will be argued that exploration of the anticipatory and ecstatic nature of such concrete emplacement reveals an underlying normative character to our encounters with nature, now experienced as an autonomous and essentially mysterious non-human other that both sustains and is sustained by places—places in which find ourselves and live out our lives. It is argued that this view foregrounds a notion of transcendence that leads to both a questioning of the anthropocentrism that informs many Western moral views and an acknowledgement of intrinsic value in nature, such that some current mainstream understandings of the character of moral sensibility and of moral education can no longer be regarded as adequate. (shrink)
Although effectively the idea of selfhood receives scant attention in much current educational policy, it is an idea that is central to understanding education in the Western tradition. This paper evaluates the implications of a growing movement in educational philosophy and theory to see the self as relational to the extent that it possesses little or no internally maintained steady identity and is constantly reconstituted by external agencies in a variety of ways. A well-worked-through view that draws on the work (...) of Hannah Arendt and Emmanuel Levinas amongst others and that is taken to be representative of this wider movement is examined. It is argued that while important issues concerning the relationship between education and individual subjectivities are raised in ways that invite productive discussion, ultimately the decentred and de-nucleated conception of the self to which its argument leads is both phenomenologically untenable and educationally stultifying. (shrink)
Although the idea of nature has allbut disappeared from recent discussion ofeducation, it remains highly relevant to thephilosophy and practice of education, sincetacit notions of human nature and whatconstitutes underlying reality â the `natural'order of things â necessarily orientateseducation in fundamental ways. It is arguedthat underlying our various senses of nature isthe idea of nature as the `self-arising' whoseintrinsic integrity, mystery and valueimplicitly condition our understanding ofourselves and of the reality in which we live.I argue that the acknowledgement of nature (...) soconceived opens up a perspective on educationthat requires us to review currently dominanttechnological notions of truth and knowledge,and also of what should characterize theprocess of education, reasserting the properplace of more intuitive, local and dialogicalknowledge and relationships. (shrink)
This paper contrasts the model of the teacher-pupil relationship implied by instrumental 'new' era values currently being imposed on schools with that implied by a more ancient but highly relevant conception of education which is concerned with the search for personal meaning and the development of authentic understanding. It is argued that there is a significant 'poetic' dimension to the latter in which the learner's own engagement with things is celebrated and the teacher's role is essentially receptive-responsive both towards the (...) learner and the living traditions in which things receive their significance. It is suggested that the 'poetic' provides an important orientation, not just with respect to how teachers interact with children, but also with respect to the larger institutional context in which this interaction is situated. (shrink)