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ERIC Number: EJ1026554
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Time, Individualisation, and Ethics: Relating Vladimir Nabokov and Education
Saeverot, Herner
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v46 n1 p32-45 2014
This article states that the concept of time we generally hold is a spatial version of time. However, a spatial time concept creates a series of problems, with unfortunate consequences for education.The problems become particularly obvious when the spatial time concept is used as a basis for the education function that is connected to the individuality of the pupils. In order to examine this problem more closely, the article turns to literature in order to get a new and different insight into education. In part four of the novel "Ada or Ardor: A family chronicle" (1969) the Russian-American author Vladimir Nabokov claims, by way of the protagonist Van Veen, that a spatial notion of time will lead to a determinate and reduced view of the future. Not only does one in this way sweep the very notion of time under the carpet, but one will moreover hinder the possibility of appearing as a unique and individualised person. Van is preoccupied with a pedagogic question: viz., the question of how one can become individualised through time. This is also the reason he attempts to re-create a time concept that can give him the status of a free and independent individual. With a background in Van's analysis of time, the article attempts to derive two forms for education. First, formal education, which bases itself on a spatial time concept. Secondly, non-formal education, which bases itself on a time concept that has freed itself in the greatest possible manner from space. Neither of these two solutions is appropriate in regard to education's individualising function. Therefore, the article draws on Nabokov's best-known novel, "Lolita" (1955), so as to broaden Van's understanding of time. In the end, then, the article articulates a time concept that introduces a notion of education where time occurs through acts of responsibility. Not until education has such a time concept as a basis, can one, so the article argues, attain the education function that has as its goal to individualise and make responsible children and young people.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A