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ERIC Number: EJ1178752
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 17
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1056-4934
The Owl of Athena: History, Philosophy, and Humanism in Comparative Education
Kazamias, Andreas
European Education, v50 n2 p84-100 2018
Since the 1960s, comparative education in the United States, Canada, and Europe has shown considerable growth and vitality, in terms of membership in professional organizations, participation in international conferences, research, and publications. Epistemologically and methodologically, new modernist and postmodernist paradigms have been inscribed on the conceptual tapestry of the field and new trajectories have been charted. Such developments had two significant consequences: (1) comparative education, especially in the United States and Canada, has become polymorphous (Altbach, 1991; Kazamias, 2001, p. 504; Rust, Soumare, Pescadou, & Shibuya, 1999, pp. 87-88, 107; Watson, 1999, p. 12); and (2) comparative education has been metamorphosed from an essentially historical and humanist "episteme" to an essentially ahistorical poly-paradigmatic social science, and, in some variants, to an empirical positivist social science. So transformed, comparative education has lost its humanist physiognomy, in the sense that virtually it has abandoned its traditional historical and humanist orientation, or what may be called its "soul" (Kazamias, 2001). The present study is organized in two parts. Focusing on the various motifs or paradigms regarding the nature and scope of comparative education since the Enlightenment, in Part One the author argues that in the second half of the 20th century, comparative education was metamorphosed--epistemologically and methodologically--from essentially a historical explanatory and hermeneutic "human science," in the broad meaning of the term "science" as signified by the Greek term episteme and the German Wissenschaft, to essentially a poly-paradigmatic "social science." So transformed, comparative education has lost its "humanist physiognomy" or what otherwise he calls its "soul." The prevailing contemporary comparative education emphasizes cognitive knowledge and skills, and the intellectual aspects of being "educated" and "human." It underemphasizes aesthetic knowledge, noncognitive habits and skills, what he calls "paideia/education of the soul," which is necessary for being "educated" and "wholly human." In the words of Aristotle: "Educating the mind (nous) without educating the soul (psyche) is no education at all." In Part Two of this study the author argues: (1) for the reinvention of the lost historical "cum" philosophical humanist motif in comparative education; and (2) comparative education should focus not only on cognitive knowledge and skills and the intellectual aspects of being "educated"; it should also emphasize noncognitive knowledge and skills and the moral aspects of being "educated," what may otherwise be called a "paideia/education of the soul."
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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
Identifiers - Location: United States; Canada; Europe
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A