Saturday, July 19, 2008

Key Thinkers Lost to Education?

An article in the Chronicle of Higher Education explores how key scholars from a range of fields have been essentially written out of their history:
How is it that Freud is not taught in psychology departments, Marx is not taught in economics, and Hegel is hardly taught in philosophy? Instead these masters of Western thought are taught in fields far from their own. Nowadays Freud is found in literature departments, Marx in film studies, and Hegel in German. But have they migrated, or have they been expelled? Perhaps the home fields of Freud, Marx, and Hegel have turned arid. Perhaps those disciplines have come to prize a scientistic ethos that drives away unruly thinkers. Or maybe they simply progress by sloughing off the past.
Can people think of examples of this in education? It's a more complicated issue, since education is an interdisciplinary "field," if it counts as a field at all in the same way as these others.

I would point to an entire group of educators that I'm calling the "personalists" from the 1920s and the 1960s with a vision of psychoanalytically and aesthetically based efforts to release the unique creativity of individuals in communal settings. Essentially the "romantics" of education, like Margaret Naumburg, Caroline Pratt, Paul Goodman, A.S. Neill, and the like. But they certainly aren't on the same level as a Hegel. (Philosophers have forgotten Hegel? Bizarre!)


No comments:

Post a Comment