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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: The education-socialisation conundrum or: 'Who is afraid of education?'
Author(s): Biesta, G J J
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Keywords: Education
rational autonomy
philosophical humanism
Issue Date: 2007
Citation: Biesta GJJ (2007) The education-socialisation conundrum or: 'Who is afraid of education?', Utbildning and Demokrati, 16 (3), pp. 25-36.
Abstract: First paragraph: In this paper I would like to make a case for a particular use of the word "education". This endeavour might be understood as an attempt to give an answer to the question as to what education "is". But instead of looking for some kind of essence of education - which, in my view, is a rather futile thing to do - I wish to explore how we might best understand and approach education and, more importantly, I wish to explore what kind of understanding of the notion of education might be relevant and maybe even necessary for our world today. I am aware that one of the conceptual difficulties of doing this already lies in the very word "education" itself. This is not only because the word has many different meanings (or at least many different connotations). It is also because, in translation, it is connected to many different national and cultural histories and traditions. Think, for example, of the enormous differences encapsulated in the words "education", "Erziehung", "éducation", "opvoeding", and "utbildning". Language is always a limited and imperfect tool, but it is the best and only tool we have. When I use the word "education" in what follows, it is not only to refer to what happens in schools, colleges and universities. It is not only about teaching and learning in classroom settings. Education, for me, is also concerned with wider questions about the formation of human beings and the ways in which they find their place in the world. From this point of view, it is important to introduce a distinction between education and socialisation - and in a sense what I will be saying in this paper can be understood as an attempt to see whether it is (still) possible to make a meaningful distinction between these two notions.
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