The educational awareness of the future

Lewin, David; Friesen, Norm and Kenklies, Karsten, eds. (2023) The educational awareness of the future. In: F.D.E. Schleiermacher’s Outlines of the Art of Education. Paedagogica, XIV . Peter Lang International Academic Publishers, New York, Berlin, Bruxelles, Lausanne, Oxford. ISBN 9781433193859 (

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English-speaking educationalists interested in Schleiermacher's educational ideas are faced with a problem: a lack of English translations. Consequently, Schleiermacher’s educational theories are not widely known by Anglo-American theorists of education, something that this translated lecture goes some way to remedy (perhaps delete). The following discussion centres on one particular element of the lecture, the relation to the future, by focusing on the section: ‘Is one allowed to sacrifice one moment for another?’ (27-31). Firstly, I ask What does it mean to be oriented to the future?, distinguishing between any generally pedagogical influence that prepares for the future, and pedagogical influences designed specifically to raise awareness of the future. In section two, Are we all interested in the future?, I discuss the transition from immersion in the present to thinking about the future, and the extent to which this transition is part of growing up. Section three, Becoming Concerned, considers how this transition is practically achieved and ethically justified by discussing some practical illustrations in the form of vignettes. The fourth section then relates the foregoing discussions to more contemporary practices that encourage us to Be in the now, practices that are justified by criticisms of the tendency to habitually focus on the future. The overall discussion is framed by Schleiermacher’s ethical concern: whether sacrificing the present for the future in the life of the child is justified. I argue that, in Schleiermacher’s view, the question presupposes a false opposition of present and future and that, in the end, no sacrifice is necessary.


Lewin, David ORCID logoORCID:; Friesen, Norm and Kenklies, Karsten