The struggle to love : Pedagogical Eros and the gift of transformation

Kenklies, Karsten (2019) The struggle to love : Pedagogical Eros and the gift of transformation. Journal of Philosophy of Education, 53 (3). pp. 547-559. ISSN 0309-8249

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    Abstract

    Why does anyone become a teacher, and why a student? Education in its contemporary form has evolved into a subsystem of society in which professional ‘teachers/ educators’ are confronted with an ever-changing group of people called ‘pupils/ students’; and the individuals in both groups now have to deal with this institutionalized confrontation. Neither one nor the other decision – to become a teacher or to become a student – seems to have much to do with a specific other person, and it certainly does not have much to do with the actual person(s) that one is related to by becoming a teacher or by becoming a student in a specific institution. However, if pedagogical relations were as depersonalized as suggested, why is it that teachers as well as students would hold very different relations to different students and teachers – relations that are more or less ‘deep’, ‘affectionate’, ‘successful’? And how are we to perceive education outside of formally institutionalized contexts (or those special relations that occur even within formalized contexts but transcend them)? Is there another type of pedagogical relation? And what would be reasons for entering into a pedagogical relation other than becoming and being made a part of a subsystem of society? Why do two people gravitate towards each other, freely recognizing each other as teacher and student? Attempting to answer those questions, the following paper revisits some historic positions, being conscious that those answers are also part of the answer to a much greater question: What is education?