De pedagoog als homo clausus | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 1567-7109
  • E-ISSN: 2468-1652



The contributions to (‘Theoretical pedagogy’, eds. B. Spiecker and B. Levering, 1982) predominantly concern the question how theoretical pedagogy contributes to academic pedagogy, and the related question what characterizes this discipline. Some authors defend a specific method, sometimes as attuned to the specific nature of the pedagogical research subject. For example, phenomenological analysis, conceptual analysis, and empirical research pass review. Though each author substantiates the potential contribution of his or her chosen method, (s)he also introduces this method as disqualifying other methods. That does not only leave academic pedagogy a fragmented discipline, it also overstretches the justifiable pretensions of each method, impeding mutual enrichment of these methods at the same time. Other authors contribute by trying to ground the discipline and its methods in purported unique anthropological characteristics of pedagogical phenomena. However, they cannot solve the problems either, because they leave us again with mutually exclusive approaches and a fragmented discipline. It even becomes questionable whether we can speak of ‘one’ discipline at all, as subsequent authors keep writing as a ‘homo clausus’, culminating in the seeming incompatibility of pedagogy as a behavioral science versus pedagogy as a social science. After reading this collection, one wonders whether a more question-guided, interdisciplinary approach, open to mutual enrichment of various methods would not better serve the discipline.


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