Hermeneutic and Buddhist Meditations
Edited By David W. Jardine, Christopher Gilham and Graham McCaffrey
Chapter Three: From the “Science of Disease” to the “Understanding of Those Who Suffer”: The Cultivation of an Interpretive Understanding of “Behaviour Problems” in Children
From THE “Science OF Disease” TO THE “Understanding OF Those Who Suffer”: The Cultivation OF AN Interpretive Understanding OF “Behaviour Problems” IN Children
The concern with things which are not understood, the attempt to grasp the unpredictable character of the spiritual and mental life of human beings, is the task of the art of understanding which we call hermeneutics. (Gadamer, 1996, p. 165)
Hans-Georg Gadamer (1900–2002) described hermeneutics as an emancipatory and practical philosophy (1977, p. 17). As a former consultant for “Emotional and Behavioural Disabilities” (EBD) in a large urban public school board, I worked with school teams to support their work with “behaviour” students. While a Faculty of Education PhD candidate specializing in interpretive work, my understanding of “behaviour” students profoundly changed. This emancipatory transformation, at the risk of over-simplifying, was largely the result of understanding some of the history of the Special Education work in which I had been immersed.
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