17 SES 06, Paper Session
Today education is part of scientific, political and media discourses. In Germany the notion Bildung, rather than Erziehung, is almost omnipresent. It is often part of compound words, e.g. Bildungsungleichheit (inequality in education) (Ruhloff 2006). It seems to be clear and unquestionable that Bildung is something magically positive for everybody. Bildung, including formal education as well as specific ideas of the individual self-formation, is presented as a solution to basic anthropological and social tasks (Ehrenspeck 2010). For the most part, both the historical and the social contexts of discourses on Bildung are neglected. Bildung, like any form of education is linked to a specific understanding of the world. This world is mediated directly or indirectly in the formational process and it is more or less inclusive. Geographical, political and historical dimensions of the notion are left aside. The basic ideas often deprived of their original local context diffuse through time, forgetting that every educational text only answers particular questions. According to Horlacher (2011; 2016) Bildung can be regarded as the aim of a successful life. This idea of “successful life” includes cultural, religious, but also geographical assumptions. Associated with this is a singular conception of the realization of a specific form of European high culture. Bildung as a term occurred around 1800 in a specific aristocratic bourgeois Jewish Protestant context. Like any complex term it is difficult to translate (Horlacher 2014), nevertheless similar concepts of well-education can be found throughout Europe. However, neither concepts like the English liberal education or the French culture or formacion, or even the Spanish formación seem to promise so much with regard to more equality like the German notion Bildung with its roots in romanticism. Our approach is stressing the necessity to implement a more historical perspective on central terms related to classic thinkers of education, keeping in mind the problems discussed in relation to the interconnectedness of systematic and historical research in education (Depaepe 2007).
We assume that the continuation of educational thinking (Bildungsdenken) with recourse to the German-speaking Enlightenment and its relevant educational reference authors, such as Kant, Hegel and Humboldt, brings with it certain implications. Among them are problematic implications that shape the perspective on educational processes e.g. in qualitative research today. Thus racist basic assumptions of the Enlightenment are handed down under a new sign (Wischmann 2016). “Modern societies were built through a double process of subject inclusion and exclusion” (Pineau 2008, p. 744; see Hund 2006). Globally speaking they were built around a concept of Europe as a centre. One of the most pre-eminent thinker of this vision was Friedrich Wilhelm Hegel in his Philosophy of Universal History (1834) (ibid., p.744-5).
The assumptions of historical authors are adjusted, inadvertently, in reflections on the educational processes of various social actors. They are of course anchored in speaking about education and Bildung. They are therefore even accepted as a necessary and invariable part of the German-language term in its multiple uses. This paper aims to re- and deconstruct these largely implicit implications of Bildung.
The analysis will focus on the work of Hegel, because he plays an important part of the “Foundational narrative” (Koschorke 2007) of German-speaking discourses on Bildung and had significant influence on educational discourses in the “western world” and beyond. As Spivak asserted “the narrative of ‘German’ cultural self-representation, within the Western European context, is […] one of difference” (Spivak 1999, p. 7), we have to accept that the narrative of central educational terms is so as well. This narrative of cultural self-representation has shaped the approach to well-education in relation to an not educated Other (Spieker 2015).
In this contribution will combine a text-analysis with an analysis of the social and historical positionality of these texts. We rely on methods from the study of literature and from historical research. Texts about the better education or education in general form a certain narrative. In modernity this narrative is one of improvement. Our reading is based on the (re-)reading of the western history of philosophy called “Mimicry-like or even parasitic” (Spivak 1999). Spivak uses the term “worlding” (Spivak 1999, p.114), when to describe how certain texts make sense of the world. All texts contain maps and they fall back on particular categories. We analyse educational texts as ethnocentric narrative, which sees the “native”, like the to-be-educated, in the position of an “information-retrieval” object “denying its own ‘worlding’” (Spivak 1999, p. 118). Education (re-)inscribes an own cartography, “that must (re)present itself as impeccable.” (Spivak 1999, p. 228). By re-reading selected texts from Hegel, the world-concepts of Bildung and education will be analysed. This is based on the assumption that science and scientific thinking originate and are received in specific places: “This means that science is not to be thought of as some transcendent entity that bears no trace, of the parochial or contingent. It needs, rather to be qualified by temporal and regional adjectives.” (Livingstone 2003, p. 13) “How we imagine distant people and places, and how we choose to represent them to ourselves and to others, is of immense moral and political significance.” (Ibid., p. 8) The narrative of education contains - our hypothesis - woven into its literary form, certain individually embossed maps and these maps show and at the same time reproduce inequality. Using a historical notion in a new timeframe does not deprive this term of its Others, so to say. With reference to Moretti (2013) it can be stated that this inequality might be even necessary (“maps need unevenness”), e.g. when we talk of the better education of a subject. If neither the map in the text analysis nor the inequality is made explicit, assumptions about inequality are handed down.
We aim to show, embedded in already existing research, that educational terms cannot just diffuse through time without reflection on their specific others and their images of distant peoples or places. Terms like Bildung have to be dismantled, have to be translated, and have to be re-imagined to be used sensible in a broader discourse than historically intended.
Depaepe, Marc (2007): Philosophy and History of Education: Time to Bridge the Gap? Educational Philosophy and Theory, Vol. 39/1, pp. 28-43. Ehrenspeck, Yvonne (2010): Philosophische Bildungsforschung. Bildungstheorie. [Philosphical Research in Education. Theory of Bilung] In: Rudolf Tippelt/ Bernhard Schmidt (Hrsg.): Handbuch Bildungsforschung. 3. Aufl. Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, S. 155–169. Horlacher, Rebecca (2011): Bildung. Bern: Haupt Verlag, 2011. Horlacher, Rebecca (2014): ¿Qué es Bildung? El eterno atractivo de un concepto difuso en la teoría de la educación alamana. In: Pensamiento Educativo. Revista de Investigación Educationalal Latinoamericana, 51 (1), 35-45. Horlacher, Rebekka (2016). The Educated Subject and the German Concept of Bildung. A Comparative Cultural History. New York: Routledge. Hund, Wulf D. (2006): Negative Vergesellschaftung. Dimensionen der Rassismusanalyse [Negative Sociality. Dimension of Racismanalysis] Münster: Westfälisches Dampfboot. Koschorke, Albrecht (2007): Zur Logik kultureller Gründungserzählungen [Logic of cultural foundational narratives]. Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte, 1(2), 5-12. Livingstone, David N. (2003): Putting science in its place, geographies of scientific knowledge. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Moretti, Franco (2013): Distant Reading. London: Verso. Pineau, Pablo (2008): Education and globalisation: a Latin American perspective. History of Education, Vol. 37, No. 8, pp. 743-55. Ruhloff, Jörg (2006): Bildung und Bildungsgerede [Bildung and Tattle of Bildung]. Vierteljahresschrift für wissenschaftliche Pädagogik, Heft 3/2006, pp. 287-99. Spieker, Susanne (2015): Die Entstehung des modernen Erziehungsdenkens aus der europäischen Expansion [The Development of Modern Educational Thought out of the European Expansion] Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang Verlag. Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty (1999): A Critique of Postcolonial Reason. Toward A History of the Vanishing Present. Cambridge: Harvard University Press. Wischmann, Anke (2016): The Absence of ‘Race’ in German Discourses on Bildung. Rethinking Bildung with Critical Race Theory. Race Ethnicity and Education. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13613324.2016.1248834
00. Central Events (Keynotes, EERA-Panel, EERJ Round Table, Invited Sessions)
Network 1. Continuing Professional Development: Learning for Individuals, Leaders, and Organisations
Network 2. Vocational Education and Training (VETNET)
Network 3. Curriculum Innovation
Network 4. Inclusive Education
Network 5. Children and Youth at Risk and Urban Education
Network 6. Open Learning: Media, Environments and Cultures
Network 7. Social Justice and Intercultural Education
Network 8. Research on Health Education
Network 9. Assessment, Evaluation, Testing and Measurement
Network 10. Teacher Education Research
Network 11. Educational Effectiveness and Quality Assurance
Network 12. LISnet - Library and Information Science Network
Network 13. Philosophy of Education
Network 14. Communities, Families and Schooling in Educational Research
Network 15. Research Partnerships in Education
Network 16. ICT in Education and Training
Network 17. Histories of Education
Network 18. Research in Sport Pedagogy
Network 19. Ethnography
Network 20. Research in Innovative Intercultural Learning Environments
Network 22. Research in Higher Education
Network 23. Policy Studies and Politics of Education
Network 24. Mathematics Education Research
Network 25. Research on Children's Rights in Education
Network 26. Educational Leadership
Network 27. Didactics – Learning and Teaching
The programme is updated regularly (each day in the morning)
- Search for keywords and phrases in "Text Search"
- Restrict in which part of the abstracts to search in "Where to search"
- Search for authors and in the respective field.
- For planning your conference attendance you may want to use the conference app, which will be issued some weeks before the conference
- If you are a session chair, best look up your chairing duties in the conference system (Conftool) or the app.