World-Centred Education A View for the Present
This book makes an intervention in a long-standing discussion by arguing that education should be world-centred rather than child-centred or curriculum-centred. This is not just because education should provide students with the knowledge and skills to act effectively in the world, but is first and foremost because the world is the place where our existence as human beings takes place.
In the seven chapters in this book Gert Biesta explores in detail what an existential orientation to education entails and why this should be an urgent concern for education today. He highlights the importance of teaching, not understood as the transmission of knowledge and skills but as an act of (re)directing the attention of students to the world, so that they may encounter what the world is asking from them. The book thus shows why teaching matters for education. It also highlights the unique position of the school as the place where the new generation is given the time to meet the world and meet themselves in relation to the world. The extent to which society is still willing to make this time available, is an important indicator of its democratic quality.
This important text demonstrates, not only to academics, but also to students, teachers, school administrators, and teacher educators, the urgency of a world-centred orientation for education today.
1 - WHAT SHALL WE DO WITH THE CHILDREN?; 2 - WHAT KIND OF SOCIETY DOES THE SCHOOL NEED?; 3 - THE PARKS-EICHMANN PARADOX AND THE TWO PARADIGMS OF EDUCATION; 4 - SUBJECTIFICATION REVISITED; 5 - LEARNIFICATION, GIVENNESS, AND THE GIFTS OF TEACHING; 6 - FORM MATTERS: ON THE POINT(ING) OF EDUCATION; 7 - WORLD-CENTRED EDUCATION
With theoretical beauty and practical elegance, Gert Biesta continues to regale us with an approach to education which, while sustaining its immanence and autonomy, remains open to new possibilities and innovative spaces. He does this by putting a spot-light on education’s existential(ist) questions; questions that matter for what those who live through education, and will continue to take with them throughout their life. Indeed, what is taken is not a product but an art and ability to sustain one’s own being in the world; indeed, a way of becoming the world itself. In this book Biesta completes a wider project where, without unnecessarily antagonizing the educational establishment, he robustly critiques the paradigmatic status quo by which education has become paralyzed between the four angles of conservative, liberal, progressive and critical educationalism. Biesta’s originality is found in how he chooses to stay away from this impasse. Instead, he offers new horizons over which we are empowered to do education associatively and convivially.
John Baldacchino, Professor, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Educational life should never just be about adapting to circumstances, neither about looking out for the future. Life is here and now, and so is education…In this now-or-never-space, education should bring in the world to ´speak´ to the children. Gert Biesta´s call, with Bertolt Brecht, is not to serve the children nor satisfy them, but to interest them in the world. World-Centered Education is not just another scholarly book speaking in theoretical language to, and with, other scholars. Gert Biesta is speaking directly to the reader – pointing at the world, pedagogy and education, in an exciting, electrifying and personal style.
Laerke Grandjean (https://www.laerkegrandjean.dk/)