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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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1.2.1 Modernity and Education: One or Many Topics? (Giuseppe Mari)

1.2.1 Modernity and Education: one or many topics?


Giuseppe Mari

Usually “modernity” is considered a singular noun as it is confirmed by the so-called post-modernity and its related opposition to modernity. Obviously, it isn’t wrong, but I think it isn’t completely right. In fact, modernity isn’t a “one-way movement”: there are at least two different kinds of modernity. It is a critical point because it allows to deal with the crisis of modernity without refusing it in favour of post-modernity. In my opinion, post-modernity is very questionable because of its tendency to embrace irrationality against modern rationality.

In this paper, I will be reviewing developments in educational thinking. The context for this discussion is largely that of modernity. It is useful to recognize that there is not only “one” Modernity, but many; for instance, early modernity, high or classic modernity and late modernity. Also, while the dominant currents within modernity are objectivist or rationalist in character, there are also some notable counter-currents, as we shall see. After this review, I will give attention to the concept of “competence” because it is a strategic issue within contemporary education, but a problematic one too. In fact, if the concept of competence is interpreted merely as functional, school education is at risk of being deflected from its own mission related to moral maturity and citizenship. To recognize modernity as “plural” is essential in order to face its crisis (Bauman, 2002; Taylor, 2006; Eisenstadt, 2006; Wagner, 2013).

The word “modernity” – common to neo-Latin idioms (French modernit...

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