Support Instead of Education

The Postpedagogical Impulse

At the beginning of the 1970's, the adult-child-relationship was explored in a hitherto unknown analysis. Scientists and researchers started their investigations from a new perspective. They no longer asked in an educational and objective sense »What is really good for a child?«. Instead, they questioned from an authentic personal basis: »What do I actually intend in communicating with children?«. These persons abandoned the self-image of the guardian with an educational mission. By doing so, they were never close to exploiting children for their own benefit. They looked for the real person existing behind education, who they wanted to meet on an existential level: »Who am I – who are you?« This basis opened a new way to the child, a way untouched by the educational view – undisguised and radically honest: from the self to the subjective identity of every young human. This post-modern position is based on the existential equality of humans and their cognition and thus has turned away from education. Education however has the mission of leading and forming, which roots in objective thinking.

  In his attitude towards children, the adult now has a self-image free of education. He actually turns away from education – however not from the child, he wants communication with children, but without an educational objective. He enters the land of the child with the manifold facets of his personality, with ideas, suggestions, criticism, explanations, encouragements, fears, limits, hopes, courage – with everything he individually and subjectively esteems to be important to bring into this relationship with the child. This happens without the intension to form, without any trick or educational mission. He acts authentic, as a person. He does not move his attention and focus into the child while interacting with it. He remains within himself and assumes responsibility for the immediate and closest person: the own self.

The post-pedagogical adult seeks access to the child coming from the self. The existential question »Who am I?« is accompanied by »Who are you?«. Methods and techniques, strategies and didactics, personality-training and communication trainings, preparation and supervision, purposes, motivation, evaluation, analysis, ... – whatever is realized with exhausting and tiring engagement in educational communication can now be omitted. The adult awakens just like out of a coma: relieved and liberated. This has the effect that, now at last – close to the self – he develops a specific empathy which exists only beyond pedagogic and education. Equipped with this post-pedagogical empathy, he always has the chance to really understand the child, joining the desires and needs of the child with his own ideas into an authentic way of living.