On one hand, today´s pedagogy is ruled by the perspective of caring for the child and for its future in society and the normative framing by personal, social and political-economical demands. On the other hand, pedagogy today is led by a high esteem for the personality, the responsibility and also the autonomy of the child. Both approaches are deeply rooted in the tradition of Enlightenment (cf. Adorno 1947). This means that social reality is regarded as being governed by planning and by sensible decisions, by rules, by transparent procedures, by unambiguous facts and by other characteristics of rational order. If this is not the case in reality, pedagogy (and with it each child and each pedagogue) is usually addressed as one of the first to change the situation for the better. Anyway, pedagogy usually fails - in some way.
Seen from a methodical perspective, present day pedagogy refers to a theoretical and empirical research which mainly deals with the concept of “objectivity” as the central point of reference:
- In Scientific approaches, objectivity is either thought to be reached by strict methodical procedures. Or objectivity is regarded only as an aim to be approached by striving for consensus. Then, social reality is dealt with as if it were a text (cp. “linguistic turn”). That is to say, social reality is seen as if it were ruled by completeness, closeness, unambiguity and linearity (Oser 1997, Wulf 2007).
- Analogously, in school it is widely regarded as the main aim to impart available knowledge and abilities oriented at certain objectives. Pedagogical theory and practice is often reduced to certain norms and to definite interventions in well-defined pedagogical situations. In this regard, pedagogy as well as pedagogically intended knowledge and abilities are interpreted as competences. The customary definition of competences (Weinert et al. ) has a strong impact in terms of the scientific psychometric approach.
In my presentation I will stick to scientific models in which pedagogy is seen differently from the tradition of Enlightenment.
40th European Conference on Educational Research (ECER) "The Need for Educational Research to Champion Freedom, Education and Development for All" University Cádiz/Spain