NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ864747
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Pages: 27
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0030-9230
"Alternative" Education in Flanders, 1960-2000: Transformation of Knowledge in a Neo-Liberal Context
De Coster, Tom; Simon, Frank; Depaepe, Marc
Paedagogica Historica: International Journal of the History of Education, v45 n4-5 p645-671 Aug 2009
The founding of "alternative" schools, mainly by parents or other individuals, has made New Education in Flanders tangible today for the general public. In this article, the authors set out to study the knowledge of the "emancipatory" starting points of the post-1968 movements and "alternative" schools in the neo-liberal Flemish educational context (in the 1980s and 1990s). The authors consider knowledge as the interpretation of the interaction between the higher and lower "emancipatory" pedagogy (theory and practice). Where higher pedagogy is "mostly prophetic--it concerns the inspiring ideas of pioneers (Rousseau, Pestalozzi) and the academic pedagogy," lower pedagogy concerns the pedagogical mentality that gave form to the dissemination of all sorts of what were called "child-oriented" renewals. Pedagogical theory represents "what people had to say in order to be viewed as 'competent.'" Lower pedagogy relates to the "pedagogical mentality, first of all constructed at the basis, by educational agents like authors of educational journals, who set out what education actually means in practice, thereby limiting the possibilities for action." The distinction between "higher" and "lower" pedagogy is significant here only in methodological terms. In the authors' research, the interviews--exemplary testimonies of lower pedagogy--are considered as a separate discursive level that imposes its own laws. In this approach--although the authors do not claim to have written the only contribution that takes account of the knowledge within lower pedagogy--the authors intend to deviate in a sense from most other interpretations of knowledge in the other articles in this issue, which are situated, rather, in the domain of higher pedagogy. The authors distinguish between three "types" of knowledge. Their dominance succeeds each other in time (although, occasionally, Type 1 and 2 testimonies can also be found today): (1) a revolutionary unity of theory and practice (end of the 1960s and beginning of the 1970s); (2) the unity of theory and practice prescribed within alternative and progressive structures in the fringes (1970s and early 1980s); and (3) knowledge is extracted from a supply at several levels within the neo-liberal education model (from the mid-1980s). This article first elaborates on these three types using primary source material. The authors expect that the appropriation of knowledge in a neo-liberal context (in the 1980s and 1990s) was the source for hybrid knowledge constructions and they will try to further explore this hypothesis using recent publications about "alternative" education from within the traditional networks in Flanders. (Contains 3 figures and 94 footnotes.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Belgium