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ERIC Number: EJ1040381
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Mar
Pages: 7
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1598-1037
Cultivating Humanity or Educating the Human? Two Options for Education in the Knowledge Age
Biesta, Gert
Asia Pacific Education Review, v15 n1 p13-19 Mar 2014
Ever since the idea of the "knowledge society" came into circulation, there have been discussions about what the term empirically "might" mean and normatively "should" mean. In the literature we can find a rather wide spectrum, ranging from a "utilitarian" interpretation of the knowledge society as a knowledge economy, via a more "humanistic" conception of the knowledge society as a "knowledge sharing society", up to an explicitly "political" interpretation of the knowledge society as a knowledge democracy. Although "in theory" there is a wide range of interpretations and manifestations, "in practice" there has been a strong convergence towards the idea of the knowledge society as a knowledge "economy". On this interpretation the particular task for education is seen as that of the production of flexible lifelong learners who are able to adjust and adapt to the ever-changing conditions of global capitalism. In this paper I raise the question how we might conceive of the educational task in light of the particular expectations that come from such an interpretation of the knowledge society. Against the idea that an adequate response requires that educators focus on the cultivation of the human being's humanity, I challenge the humanistic underpinnings of the idea of education as cultivation. Instead, I suggest a different direction that moves the educational task away from the cultivation of the self towards the exposure towards the world.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A