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Education and «Pädagogik»

Philosophical and Historical Reflections (Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe)


Edited By Blanka Kudláčová and Andrej Rajský

The book approaches education and the science of education (Ger. Pädagogik) from two perspectives: philosophical and historical. The philosophical perspectives (the fi rst part of the book) explore key philosophical influences underlying the notion of Pädagogik. Questions are raised about the status of philosophy of education, and of Pädagogik as a fi eld of study. The nature and scope of their contributions in academic workplaces are critically reviewed. Concerning the historical perspectives (the second part of the book), these explore key historical moments in the development of Pädagogik as a scientific and academic discipline in individual countries of Central, Southern and South-Eastern Europe, based on the original German tradition.

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1.1.3 The Idea of Continental Pädagogik (Zvonimir Komar)

1.1.3 The Idea of Continental Pädagogik


Zvonimir Komar

This chapter does not take for granted the meaning of Pädagogik. Instead it will try to investigate the idea of Pädagogik critically. This investigation of an idea, or field of study, that provides the basis for professional educational outlooks and actions, is a necessary condition for both the theory and practices that are pursued under the name Pädagogik itself (Palekčić, 2015). Without this critical investigation, Pädagogik, including its purposes and its underlying presuppositions, may remain vulnerable to undetected ideological influences, thus compromising its claim to be a field of research and professional practice. In other words, Pädagogik continually needs to carry out the philosophical discipline of self-examination on the assumptions and presuppositions embodied in its own conduct. The approach taken here represents by no means a complete or even the only possible way to fundamentally think about this science. However, we hope to start the dialogue with some fundamental thinkers in this field, such as I. Kant, J. Fichte and J. Herbart, in order to make a few steps with and through them towards more complete developments of Pädagogik in the future.

We will begin the investigation by reflecting upon an initial claim that Pädagogik is necessarily a purposeful kind of theory and practice. It is usually pointed out that as a word, Pädagogik stems from the Greek word paidagōgos, which historically referred to slaves that took children to their teachers for education. However,...

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