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In Defence of the Human in Education


Isolde Woolley

The title incorporates the assumption that the ‘human’ in education is being threatened by certain processes. The guiding questions are: What are these processes and what constitutes the ‘human’ in education? Which activities characteristically performed by human beings are so central that they seem definitive of a life that is truly human and which changes or transitions in educational thinking are compatible with the continued existence of a being as a member of human kind and which are not? It is argued that the present debate on education is still dominated by the language of performance and global economic comparison. Educational practice must and will have to help the individual through a confluence of insights in his/her journey through life to form independent judgement.


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11 Glossary


A-Level – Advanced Level exam at the age of 18, comparable to the Austrian ‘Matura’ and German ‘Abitur’ GCSE – ‘General Certificate of Secondary Education’ at the age of 16 IWB – Interactive White Board KPH-Edith Stein – Kirchliche Pädagogische Hochschule Edith Stein NMS – Neue Mittelschule; Austrian version of comprehensive schooling for 10-14 year olds with its emphasis on learning in heterogenous groups. PISA – Programme for International Student Assessment. It surveys scholastic achievement using world applied standardised tests very few years SATs – National Curriculum assessments are a series of educational assessments. They are colloquially known as SATs and used to assess the attainment of children attending maintained schools in England. They comprise a mixture of teacher-led and test-based assessment depending on the age of the pupils.The tests were introduced for 7-year-olds for the academic year ending July 1991, and for 11-year-olds in the academic year ending July 1995.Similar tests were introduced for 14- year-olds for the academic year ending July 1998 but were scrapped at the end of the academic year ending July 2009. - cite_note-3

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