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The Shunned Essentials of Pedagogy: Authority, love and mystery
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (VIVA, Demokratins villkor)
2009 (English)In: Nordic Educational Research Association Annual Congress in Trondheim, March 5-7, 2009Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Authority, love and mystery are three small words that capture the essentials of pedagogy - so I will argue. They tell us about our connection to the world, including each other, yet they are shunned in educational discourse. The aim of my paper is to unfold the relation between these conceptions, and to critically discuss their implications for the pedagogical relation between teachers and young students (children) and locate it within a topographical perspective, in a ‘pedagogy of place’, following Lars Løvlie (2007). Today we seldom join love to education and schools. Love is a general name of the quality of attachment, but love is also capable of infinite degradation and is the source of great errors – yet, when it is even partly refined it is the force that “joins us to the world through Good” says Iris Murdoch (2001). So understood, love can be part of the ‘architecture’ of education. Educators’ responsibility for the world takes a specific form of authority in schools. Hannah Arendt (1993) argues that the school is by no means the world and must not pretend to be, and that the educator stands in relation to the young, as a representative of the world. An implication of her argument is that the task of the educator is to show the world to the students, not to translate it or explain it, but also not to change or explicate the students. Following these thoughts I conclude that for an educator in school, different from politics, to love the world is to accept the world, and to love the students is to accept them and to refrain from wanting to change them- and refraining from wanting to prepare them for changing the world in a particular and predefined way. What, then, is the place for mystery, the third shunned essential of pedagogy? To put it shortly; I question the established belief that schools can - or even should - respond to the ideal that everything can and ought to be illuminated and measured; recognizing mystery may allow students to be persons in their own right.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009.
Keyword [en]
Philosophy of Education, topography, teacher student relation, teaching
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-6016OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-6016DiVA: diva2:212954
Projects
VIVA
Available from: 2009-04-28 Created: 2009-03-16 Last updated: 2009-04-28Bibliographically approved

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von Wright, Moira
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • en-US
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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