Support Instead of Education
- Beyond Any Education
- The Constructive End of Education
- Among Equals
- Non-educational Practice
- The Postpedagogical Impulse
- Hubertus von Schoenebeck
The Constructive End of Education
Who actually brought up the idea that children need education?
Children are just here, as adults are. The society is filled with value, orientation, limits, challenges. Everything is prepared and ready when a child is born. The adventure life can commence. Parents love their children, provide resources and comfort, support and anchor – so, by all means, what do we need education for?
Well: education is indeed more than a matter of course. Education is something special. Education is the task and the mission to make sure that children succeed. That they become full humans. Education is consignment, a cultural and civilizatory mission used to make humans out of children. To form, shape, and conduct them, to give them the right values, to accustom them to a behavior that helps to let them survive. Education is indispensable. Without education there is chaos and disaster. Today we need more and above all better education, better methods, better books, better seminars.
Does this leave any room for doubt?
Anyone knows what happens with too little education. And without education – this lies beyond the thinkable.
So, who could have the idea to stop education?
This thought is absurd, a bad joke. The educational sciences, the thousands of educational guides, the commitment of countless education professionals reject this thought, just as the experience of life and a look back in history. Nevertheless this thought shall be reflected here. No, not the thought of the end of education leading to chaos. But a different thought about the end of education: opening a new, constructive way for adults and children.
It all starts with a contemplation about the image of the child.
How do adults know, what kind of humans children are and how to handle them? Who knows about this and who can answer these questions? During their childhood, adults picked up the common ideas about children from their parents: the image of a young human in need of education, in order to become a full human.
But, and this is where reflection starts, this is an image. Only an image, an idea, an assumption, a hypothesis.
Of course, this hypothesis is rooted and well‑tried – all signs indicate that children are in need of education and everyone behaves this way. However, children do not carry a sign saying »I need education«. Adults see this sentence, but it is not really there. It exists only in the usual perspective, in the familiar interpretation of the child.
But all interpretations including the image of man can turn out to be outmoded
Just as the image saying humans with dark skin are inferior to humans with white skin and that they are suitable as slaves.
Or the image saying men are the more valuable humans and therefore women are not granted the right to vote.
Or the image saying only the king can properly handle the state affairs but not the people.
And so on and so forth. Many such images exist among humans.
However, they are and remain hypotheses, just images and not proven facts of life.
The educational view of children is primarily nothing more than such an anthropological hypothesis –
Nevertheless it serves as a proven basis for dealing with children. Functioning until the moment comes, when a new anthropological hypothesis appears that questions the old familiar view. Until someone steps in, who no longer accepts the educational view of children and who searches for a non-educational approach, and finds it. He begins to live in accordance with the new hypothesis and does not fail but succeeds. And this is not a dream – these people exist today.
These people come from the constructive post-modernism. The constructive post‑modernism sees the equality of all phenomena as its basis assuming that no phenomenon ever stands above the other. For example: White men do not stand above colored men, men not above women, governing leaders not above governed people, humans not above nature, philosophies not above philosophies, religions not above religions, cultures not above cultures. In just the same way adults never stand above children.
Taking the paradigm of equality seriously and using it as foundation means that there is no gradient between an adult and a child. Both stand on the same platform, the platform of the adequate, complete, full human being.
On this platform there is no room for the missionary intension which is the basis of every educational approach.