Mindful Practice & Hope for the Future

Paper introducing the “human” education of Friedrich Schleiermacher.

In a field increasingly dominated by managerial terminology and constructs of the psychological and neurological sciences, this paper presents education as an explicitly human “science”—as integral to human projects such as individual and collective self-definition as well as cultural reproduction and transformation. This paper undertakes the initial steps toward this human way of thinking about education by introducing the educational work of Friedrich Daniel Ernst Schleiermacher (1768-1834). Schleiermacher, virtually unknown in English-language educational scholarship today, can be said to have been one of the first to seek to establish education as a rigorous but consistently human way of understanding. I show how Schleiermacher worked towards this in his 70-page introduction to his recently reissued (and soon to be translated) Lectures on Education from 1826. I begin with a short biographical introduction to Schleiermacher and then focus on his treatment of three basic, closely interrelated themes—or rather, pairs of opposed elements:  1) Theory and practice; 2) teacher and student (also parent and child); and 3) education as preparation or as “life itself.”

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One Response to Mindful Practice & Hope for the Future

  1. JT says:

    Hi Norm Friesen,

    I saw you tweeting about philosophy and I thought I’d check out your website. I really like it. Looks like Norm Friesen has come a long way!

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