13 SES 02 A, Educational authority and pragmatist humanism in Education
Long Paper Session
Currently, authority does not have a good reputation in educational research, educational philosophy and educational practice (Reichenbach 2011). At the same time, its ubiquity and inescapability are often emphasized: not only since Hannah Arendt's famous essay on the “Crisis in Education” (Arendt 1954/1993), it is hardly possible to imagine educational contexts without authority. In fact, educational practice without authority seems ethically questionable and leaves ‘blind spots’ on the theoretical level of philosophy of education as well as on the practical level of pedagogical interaction. In this paper, we will argue that ‘classical’ ways of discussing authority in educational theory and philosophy mostly conceive of authority as a ‘good’, i.e. a substance, essence or quality, that one possesses and exercises. Such notions of authority have to rely on legitimations and grounds which themselves remain unquestionable. By exploring two influential conceptions of educational authority, the aim of this paper is to analyse how exactly educational authority is essentialized. After a brief introduction, we will first focus on ethical legitimations of authority within the concept of educational responsibility. Secondly, we intend to show how educational authority is constructed in the field of data-based educational research and practice. To address the problems raised in these two examples, we will then propose a relational concept of authority that applies to pedagogical practice as well as to pedagogical theory in the final part of our paper. With the concept of relational authority, as we intend to argue, educational authority can be understood as a process of ‘authorization’ - a shift in perspective that offers the possibility to analyse, question and criticise educational authority.
Theoretical, discourse-analytic and history of concepts
With such a process-oriented, relational and genealogical perspective, the paradigms and implicit order of authorization processes, i.e. the legitimizing structures that finally help a certain order of authority come into existence and maintain it, can be seen as contingent yet as a necessary outcome of a certain genealogy. With the concept of relational authority, it becomes possible to examine relations of authority as processes of authorization and thus as processes in which the legitimations of authority are – mostly intersubjectively – constructed and recognized. When we speak of authorization instead of authority, it becomes obvious that each existing relation of authority is tied to a specific situation and to specific personal constellations. And each specific process of authorization is built on very specific strategies of legitimizing and maintaining authority.
Arendt, Hannah. 1954/1993. “The crisis in education.” In Between past and future. Eight exercises in political thought, ed. ibid., New York: The Viking Press, 173–196. Biesta, Gert (2017): Education, Measurement and the Professions: Reclaiming a space for democratic professionality in education. In: Educational Philosophy and Theory 49 (4), S. 315–330. Biesta, Gert. 2017. “Education, Measurement and the Professions: Reclaiming a space for democratic professionality in education.” Educational Philosophy and Theory 49, no. 4 (2017), 315–330; Biesta, Gert. Good Education in the Time of Measurement: Ethics, politics, democracy. Interventions. Boulder, Colo: Paradigm Publ, 2010. Bingham, Charles. 2006. “Before recognition, and after: The educational critique.” Educational Theory 56, no. 3 (2006), 325-345. Bingham, Charles. 2008. Authority Is Relational: Rethinking Educational Empowerment Albany, New York: State University of New York Press. Dean, Mitchell. 1996. “Putting the technological into government.” History of the Human Sciences 9, no. 3 (1996): 47–68. Foucault, Michel. 1970. The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. London: Pantheon. Foucault, Michel. 1993. “Interview with Michel Foucault.” In Power: The Essential Works of Foucault, 1954–1984, ed. James D. Faubion. New York: The New Press, 1993. Freire, Paulo. 1993. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York: The Continuum Publishing Company. Hegel, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. 2018. The Phenomenology of Spirit. Translated by Terry Pinkard. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Kant, Immanuel. 1803/1975. “Über Pädagogik.” In: Werke in sechs Bänden. Hrsg. von W. Weischedel. Band VI. Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 1803/1975, 695–761. Levinas, Emmanuel. 1979. Totality and Infinity: An Essay on Exteriority. Boston, London: Martin Nijhoff Publishers. Lewis, Steven; Holloway, Jessica (2018): Datafying the teaching ‘profession’: remaking the professional teacher in the image of data. In: Cambridge Journal of Education. Luhmann, Niklas (Ed.). 2004. Schriften zur Pädagogik. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. Masschelein, Jan. 1996. Pädagogisches Handeln und Verantwortung. Erziehung als Antwort. In Pädagogik und Ethik, Käte Meyer-Drawe, Helmut Peukert and Jörg Ruhloff, ed., Weinheim: Deutscher Studien-Verlag, 81–103. Neill, Alexander Sutherland. 1960. Summerhill: a radical approach to child rearing. New York. Rousseau, Jean-Jacques Rousseau. 1762/1979. Emile, or On Education. Trans. Allan Bloom. New York: Basic Books. Thompson, Christiane. 2013. “Evaluations and the forgetfulness of pedagogical relations: Remarks on educational authority.” Educational Theory 63, no. 3 (2013). Williamson, Ben. Big data in education: The digital future of learning, policy and practice. Los Angeles, London, New Delhi, Singapore, Washington DC, Melbourne: Sage, 2017.
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.