What calls for thinking


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Lecture on Heidegger's 1954 essay; outline of the Pedagogical Relation, as described by Nohl and others.

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What calls for thinking

  1. 1. What calls for Thinking & The Pedagogical Relation Norm Friesen Nov. 24, 2010
  2. 2. Outline • Heidegger: What calls on us to think? – What – Calls on – Us – To Think The Pedagogical Relation • asymmetrical; future-oriented • authorization of adult; phronetic; it ends
  3. 3. What • “What is it that directs us into thought and gives us directions for thinking?” • It is something that we need to be inclined to • Language can take this inclination away: “language plays with our speech—it likes to let our speech drift away into the more obvious meanings of words” • It is something that withdraws “the event of withdrawal could be what is most present…” • Comes to us as a gift; we do not earn it.
  4. 4. Calls on • “Was heisst Denken?” is called; calls on 1. What is called thinking? What does thinking name? 2. What has gone by the name of thinking in the past? 3. What are the prerequisites for thinking? 4. What commands us to think? Call: A wish that something might happen; a reaching out for it to happen.
  5. 5. Us • “We ourselves are, in the strict sense of the word, put into question by the question.” • We are something that thinks and that points to something. • The meaning of this pointing is not entirely clear: “We are a sign that is not read” • We are not something definite and determinate, and neither is our thinking
  6. 6. to Think • Whatever it is, it is not what science, technology or technical technique does: • “Science does not think, and cannot think” • Science, as the rational application of a method (the scientific method) to objects in the world does not address thinking. The scientific method does not investigate the scientific method. • Is not an means-ends activity: not instrumental • Requires speaking, even though language can mis-lead
  7. 7. Pedagogical Relation
  8. 8. A different approach to Pedagogy • Dilthey (1971, 43): " The discipline of pedagogy can depart only from a description of the educator in relation to the child“ • "The way in which one exercises one's pedagogical responsibility can only be justified on pedagogical grounds, not on a rationale derived from religion, business, politics or science" (van Manen 1991, 69)
  9. 9. Is a phenomenological approach • Pedagogy requires a phenomenological sensitivity to lived experience (children's realities and lifeworlds). Pedagogy requires a hermeneutic ability to make interpretive sense of the phenomena of the lifeworld in order to see the pedagogic significance of situations and relations of living with children. (Saevi; van Manen, 1991)
  10. 10. General Definition • The pedagogical relation is "the loving relationship of a mature person with a `developing' person, entered into for the sake of the child so that he or she can discover his or her own life and form" (Nohl 1970, 134). • "Our relation to a real teacher is to a person in whose presence we experience a heightened sense of self and a real growth and the formation of personal identity" (Nohl 1970 in van Manen 1991,12).
  11. 11. Characteristics of the Pedagogical Relation 1. In the pedagogical relation the adult is directed toward the child (asymmetrical) 2. In the pedagogical relation the adult wants the pedagogical good (for his/her future) 3. The adult is responsible 4. The pedagogical relation comes to an end 5. In the pedagogical relation the adult is tactful, acting via phronesis
  12. 12. Directed toward the other, child • The school and the teacher are there for (justified in terms of) the child, the child is not there for the teacher or school. • You discover the child how he or she is doing, you don’t tell them how you are (as a professional, a parent, a taxpayer, etc.) • The child or student needs to be recognized for who she or he is • The teacher cultivates an atmosphere, a way of relating to all students/children for their sake
  13. 13. Wanting what is pedagogically good • What is important, a guide for all action and thinking, is the future of the child/student • But this future is indeterminate: it has to do with the emergence of the uniqueness of the child • It does not have to do with fitting the child into predetermined social roles or meeting social/economic demands.
  14. 14. The adult is responsible • The child’s position of vulnerability and weakness “authorizes” the adult to act responsibly • The teacher’s qualification consists in knowing the world and being able to instruct others about it, but his authority rests on his assumption of responsibility for that world. Vis-a-vis the child it is as though he were a representative of all adult inhabitants, pointing out the details and saying to the child: This is our world. (Arendt, 1954)
  15. 15. The Pedagogical Relation comes to an End • Not because students leave the classroom at the end of the school year • It is shaped asymmetrically by what the student/child needs to grow • provides for the young person an example of how life may be lived and understood, and how the pedagogical relation may be realized. • The child becomes an adult, the student becomes a professional. A relationship with them may be maintained, but it is not an asymmetrical relation as before.
  16. 16. Tact - Phronesis • Pedagogy (and ethical action) is not primarily a form of thinking and logic reasoning, but rather a certain practice/praxis directed toward the other, the child - a certain sensitivity to the child's unique situation and life • Does not involve professional “expertise” as it is commonly defined; is personal not expert • Often requires a holding back, a non-acting/ intervening, and waiting –with a readiness to act • “what teaching calls for is this –to let learn.”
  17. 17. Aristotle on Phronesis • Whereas young people become accomplished in geometry and mathematics, and wise within these limits, prudent young people do not seem to be found. The reason is that prudence is concerned with particulars as well as universals, and particulars become known from experience, but a young person lacks experience, since some length of time is needed to produce it (Nichomachean Ethics 1142 a).
  18. 18. • Arendt, H. (1954). “The Crisis in Education” http://learningspaces.org/n/files/Arendt.pdf • Van Manen, M. (1991). The Tact of Teaching. Ontario: The Althouse Press. • Nohl, H. (1970). Die Padagogische Bewegung in Deutschland and ihre Theorie. Frankfurt. • Van Manen, M. (1991). The Tact of Teaching. Ontario: The Althouse Press.