Current topic

Planned is a workshop series on pedagogical terminologies in different languages, online, invited guests, start: autumn 2021.

In times of accelerated globalization, economic, cultural, political, and social interactions between different populations and regions around the globe increase, and are promoted. The English language emerged as a global force, penetrating all other linguistic territories. The workshop series is motivated by the fact that wording models the social and cultural tasks of today. More specifically, terminology constitutes formats of professional, pedagogical knowledge as taught at the universities. If the aim of the latter is to professionally draw practically useful consequences, timeless communication skills such as critical reasoning, constructing clear arguments, and the logical evaluation of competing opinions are to be combined with cultural and specialised knowledge. In this workshop series, combined with other spaces for discussion (conference, seminars), a transcultural perspective on academic education will be provided, by working on the terminologies of Bildung, learning, curriculum, didactics, education and upbringing, educational practice, and methodology, as well as on multiculturality and processes of enculturation. This will be done in relation to social and cultural tasks of today, identified as `interdependence and sustainable development,´ `reliability, integrity and leadership,´ `gender perspective on building knowledge,´ and `multiculturality, processes of enculturation and the art.´ This undertaking is grounded in the approach of Educational Anthropology, and the network ‘Tacit Dimensions of Pedagogy’.


The workshop series on pedagogical terminologies in different languages, is based on Wilhelm von Humboldt’s thesis of Bildung as being determined by language and history – as further developed within Educational Anthropology, by putting the same right of all cultures to make statements about humans and education to the fore (Wulf 2003). In a time of increasing globalization, as well as politicization and instrumentalization of education, we work on an ethical and methodical vocabulary and terminology for pedagogy, that takes different traditions, and language-bound discourses on education into account. The (non-exclusive) focus is on English, German, Swedish, Greek, and Latin (to represent the Roman languages). Wording constitutes formats of professional pedagogical knowledge, which even models social and cultural tasks of today, here identified as `interdependence and sustainable development,´ `reliability, integrity and leadership,´ `gender perspective on building knowledge,´ and `multiculturality, processes of enculturation and the art.´

  • Bildung:

According to the UNESCO sustainable development goals, adolescents face a future in which profound changes (e.g. world climate, reduction of important life resources such as the fossil energies and species, digitalized and automatized work market) are expected. For dealing with the challenges in a sustainable way, profound knowledge about the properties, the entanglements and the interdependencies of diverse cultures, values, and beings within ecosystems, as well as open and flexible thinking is needed. Not least, should the individual be enabled to react to difficult conditions and situations in a beneficial way. According to Wilhelm von Humboldt ([1793/94] 2000), to take responsibility in a world of challenge presupposes the most harmonious, and complete development of the individual’s forces. Humboldt (ibid.) grasps the ability and willingness to sustainably care for oneself, for others, and for the environment as Bildung. This, by regarding every human; “action is an attempt of the will to become free and independent in itself” (ibid., p. 58). Bildung (with no direct equivalent in English), e.g. in Swedish bildning, Latin formatio, Greek εκπαίδευση, refers to the formation and realization of the self, in engagement with the world, and to the relation of the self with itself in depth and intricacy. We will question what can be learned from Wolfgang Klafki’s sentence: “humanity can be realized only in an individual way” (2000, p.93),while a particular value is attached to aesthetic approaches.

  • Learning/Curriculum/Didactics:

In essence, learning is about the challenge to handle challenges, thus in terms of potential obstacles (Greeno & Engeström 2014). The ability to think allows people to create all kinds of relationships, forming concepts, organizing their environment, and solving problems. In thinking, one relates to elementary comprehensive processes, e.g. social bonding, attention, motivation, perception, concept formation, memory, and problem-awareness. Thinking gives rise to all learning and all development of humans. – How to approach this from the different languages? Different language contexts put the subject (Swedish att lära sig), or the process and its content (English learning, German lernen, Latin discentia or apprehensio) to the foreground, thereby providing different models for dealing with the elementary comprehensive processes. There are also different scholarly traditions: Within the curriculum approach, learning content is packaged. Within Didactics (formal learning), the content of learning is constructed by the teacher(s) and students together (Klafki 2000). The practice approach regards learning as coming to participate in practices that will influence the actors (Schatzki 2012). Of special interest is how these traditions meet the Bologna-idea of a ‘transparency of learning goals’ (van Damme 2009).

  • Educating/Upbringing

Education, in the sense of upbringing, relates to a personal bonding for the sake of a child or student with a caring dimension, comparable to familial bonding. The child’s lifeworld and the pedagogical situation are in the foreground. The ultimate goal of educating and upbringing is the enactment of the (young) person to various everyday life and intellectual challenges, and hereby, “awaken and mediate the child’s own goals in relation to the subjects and tasks” (Kraus & Senkbeil in print). Education and upbringing are ethical in nature. Ethical decisions in the pedagogy are personal, as well as of professional, and broader social concern. Pedagogy has a dignity of its own, outside any theory and evidence (Schleiermacher ([1826] 1957). Reliability and responsibility, integrity and leadership in the field of education refer to a special kind of awareness and artfulness. In this regard, the different discourses on education put either caring and parenting (English upbringing, Swedish barnfostran, Greek ανατροφή), leadership and formation (German Erziehung) or the processes and practices of learning (Latin educatio, English educating) to the fore.

  • Educational Practice

From the perspective of the ‘non-essentialist feminist standpoint theory’ (Haraway 1991), the traditional self-conception of the Social and Human Sciences are criticized for claiming for themselves to be able to determine what is real (within disciplinary boundaries). The idea of scientifically valid representation is replaced by a ‘theory and practice of objectivity,’ dealing with the question of how objectivity is established. Pragmatic approaches, ‘performativity’, ‘discursivity’, ‘emergence’, etc. describe different forms of relating theory to practice and vice versa. We will decipher Schleiermacher’s ([1826] 1957, p. 11; own transl.) sentence; “the dignity of [pedagogical] practice is independent of theory; practice only becomes more conscious with theory” with the feminist standpoint theory, i.e. by the forms of relating theory to practice. The scientific standpoint involves a withdrawal of the teachers “from their habitual actions [to] gain some distance so that the circumstances in which they live are available to reflection,” in a way in which alternatives can be explored Bollnow [1989] 2019, p. 11). Tacit knowledge (Polanyi 1966), reflective practioning (Schön 1983), pedagogical tact (Takt) (Herbart [1802] 1969), pedagogical tensions (Spannungsfelder) (Schleiermacher ([1826] 1957), ‘pedagogiska möten och tillvägagångssätt’ (Aspelin & Persson 2011), are proposals for modelling educational practices. An outlook will be given to practices bound to virtual resources (Uzun 2014, Kontopodis et al. 2017).

  • Methodology: Multiculturality, Processes of Enculturation and the Art

In times of the ICT revolution and digital nomadism, transnational communities, and increasing mobility through residential relocation, labour and leisure mobility, and waves of migration multilocality describes operating at more than one place. Hereby, groups or persons gradually acquire the characteristics and norms of a culture (enculturation). According to Geertz (1973), ‘cultural performance’ is a ‘performance of community’ in handling and interpreting verbalized and non-verbalized significant characters. Cultural performance comes into effect in the medium of physical expressivity, namely when symbols and their sensual presence appear together. Cultural meanings become evident in (social and other) events and actions. – Traditionally, the ‘artes liberales’ (Seneca in Graver & Long 2015) are considered essential for a ‘free’ person, in order to know how to take an active part in civic life. Liberal arts are about relating, meeting, and interpreting, and can be a way to investigate the world. Academic research, education, and contemporary art today converge as ways of searching for knowledge, and function as methods to broaden the mind. The aim is to, from this background, derive methodical and methodological approaches for a better understanding of the different language-bound traditions and discourses on education.

Thus, in developing a practical-ethical and methodical vocabulary and terminology for pedagogy, that takes different traditions and language-bound discourses on education into account, the global situation is faced in which many events and processes exist simultaneously, but not necessarily dependently. Multiple interpretations may occur in parallel, complementary, or contradictory ways.

In short:

The principal purpose of the workshop series is to investigate various cultural archives by scholars from different European countries – formal and informal, analogous and digital etc. – in order to map multiple, simultaneous and concurring claims of reality, experience, and meaning that form an idea of pedagogy. For this, different educational approaches (Bildung, learning/didactics, educating/upbringing, educational practice and methodology on multiculturality, processes of enculturation and art) will be linked to social and cultural tasks, and knowledge formats of today (interdependence and sustainable development; reliability, integrity and leadership, a gender perspective on building knowledge and multiculturality, processes of enculturation and the art). A particular value is attached to aesthetic approaches. The joint concern is to listen to the various complementary or conflicting claims of different epistemic communities proposing pedagogical terminology. In the focus are also methodological and theoretical foundations for empirical studies, that seek to map the different concepts of pedagogy.


State of the Art (excerpt)

There is a broad cross-national, comparative dialogue on the traditions of Didactic and Curriculum Theory (e.g. Hamilton 1999, Kansanen 1999, Hudson & Meyer 2011, Westbury, Hopmann & Riquarts 2015, Deng 2020, Klette 2015, Wahlström et al. 2018, Werler & Tahirslay 2020). One can find some proposals for bridging these two traditions (e.g. by educational leadership Ylimaki & Uljens, 2017; Biesta 2020, Willbergh 2015). This is also directed at the different school subjects (Ongstad 2012). Besides that, there are several contributions to making the German term Bildung available to other language contexts (e.g. Danner 1994, Bornemark 2007, Heidt 2015, Alvares 2019, Friesen 2021, Tahirslay & Werler 2021, Kraus & Ylimaki in print), and for modelling educational practices (Friesen & Saevi 2010, Herbert & Kraus 2012, English 2013, Breidenstein et al. 2017), and pedagogical professionality (Meyer 1991, Hummrich 2015), or bringing both, Bildung and educational practices, together by adopting a distinct scholarly perspective (for the Pedagogical Anthropology Wulf 2013).

For the aims of this conference, the relatively new research area: transcultural studies on the history of reception of theories (e.g. Welsch 1999, Wieland 2014, Meyer & Rakhkochkine 2018), and proposals for a transcultural glossary (e.g. Friesen 2021) are of special interest. In developing a methodology for grasping multiculturality and processes of Enculturation, the approaches in the frame of art we foremost relate to, are taken into account: Geertz 1973, Gordon 1995, Lewis 2002, Bhabha 2011, Eisenstadt 2000, Dabashi 2015, Mattig 2017.

Alves, A. (2019): The German Tradition of Self-Cultivation (Bildung) and its Historical Meaning In: Educação & Realidade, 44/2.

Aspelin, J.; Persson, S. (2011): Om relationell pedagogik. Malmö: Gleerups.

Bhabha, H. K. (2011). Our Neighbours, Ourselves. Contemporary Reflections on Survival. Berlin: DeGruyter.

Breidenstein, G.; Forsey, M.; La Gro, F.; Krüger, J.O.; Roch, A. (2017): Choosing International: A Case Study of Globally Mobile Parents. In: Maxwell, C.; Deppe, U.; Krüger, H. H.; Helsper, W. (eds.): Elite Education and Internationalisation – From the Early Years to Higher Education. Palgrave Macmillan 2017, 161-180.

Bornemark, J. (2007) (red.): Det främmande i det egna. Filosofiska essäer om bildning och person

Dabashi, H. (2015). Post-Orientalism: Knowledge and power in time of terror. New York, NY: Transaction.

Danner, H.: (1994): ‘Bildung’. A basic term of German education. In: Educational Sciences, 9/1994 (Cairo)

English, A. (2013). Discontinuity in Learning: Dewey, Herbart, and Education as Transformation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Eisenstadt, S. N. (2000). Multiple modernities. Daеdalus, 129(1), 1-29.

Friesen, N.; Sævi, T. (2010): Reviving forgotten connections in North American teacher education: Klaus Mollenhauer and the pedagogical relation, Journal of Curriculum Studies, 42/1, 123-147.

Friesen, N. (2021): The Necessity of Translation in Education: Theory and Practice. In ??: Transatlantic Discourse in Education Research. Barbara Budrich.

Geertz, C. (1973): The Interpretation of Cultures. Selected Essays, Basic Books Publishers: New York.

Gordon, L. R. (1995): Fanon and the Crisis of European Man: An Essay on Philosophy and the Humans Sciences. London. Routledge.

Hamilton, D. (1999) The pedagogic paradox (or why no didactics in England?), Pedagogy, Culture & Society, 7:1, 135-152.

Haraway, D. (1991): Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature. London, New York: Routledge.

Heidt, I. (2015). Exploring the historical dimensions of Bildung and its Metamorphosis in the Context of Globalization. L2 Journal, 7(4), 2-16. Retrieved from:

Herbart, J.F. ([1802] 1969): Zwei Vorlesungen über Pädagogik. In: Kehrbach, K.; Flügel, O. (eds.): Sämtliche Werke, Bd. 1. Aalen: Scientia. 279-290

Herbert, A.; Kraus, A. (2012): Initiating Learning. Münster, New York, München, Berlin: Waxmann.

Hudson, B.; Meyer, M. eds. (2011): Beyond Fragmentation: Didactics, Learning and Teaching in Europé. Barbara Budrich Publishers.

Hummrich, M. (2016): Becoming professional Europeans? The impacts and conflicts of education for Europe. In: Mangez, E.; Niemeyer, B.; Seddon, T. (eds.): Talking Back to Governance of Education in Europe – An Experience-Based Project of Critical Knowledge Building. EEERJ Special Issue.

Humboldt, W. v. ([1793/4] 2000). Theory of Bildung (G.Horton-Krüger, Trans.). In Westbury, I.; Hopmann, S.; Riquarts, K. (eds.): Studies in curriculum theory. Teaching as a reflective practice. The German Didaktik tradition, (pp. 57–63). Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Kansanen, P. (1999): The Deutsche Didaktik and the American Research on Teaching. In B. Hudson, F. Buchberger, P. Kansanen, & H. Seel (Eds.): Didaktik/Fachdidaktik as Science(-s) of the Teaching Profession. TNTEE Publications, 2/1, 21-35.

Klafki, W. (2000). The significance of classical theories of Bildung for a contemporary concept of Allgemeinbildung. In I. Westbury, S. Hopmann, & Riquarts, K. (eds.), Studies in curriculum theory. Teaching as a reflective practice. The German Didaktik tradition (pp. 85–109). Mahwah, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.

Klette, K. (2015): Didactics meet Classroom Studies. In: Westbury, I.; Hopmann, S.; Riquarts, K. (eds.): Teaching as a Reflective Practice. The German Didaktik Tradition. Routledge.

Kontopodis, M.; Varvantakis, Ch.; Wulf, Ch. (2017). Global Youth in Digital Trajectories. London: Routledge.

Lewis, J. (2002). From Culturalism to Transculturalism. In: Iowa Journal of Cultural Studies, no.1, 14-32.

Mattig, R. (2017). Transcultural Freedom and Fulfillment of Life: The Impact of ‘Japanese Culture’ in Otto Friedrich Bollnow’s Theory of Übung. In: Journal of Integrated Creative Studies, No. 2017-008-e, 1-14. URL:

Schön, D. A. (1983): The Reflexive Practitioner. How Practitioners Think in Action. New York: Basic Books

Siljander, P.; Kivelä, A.; Sutinen, A. (Eds.) (2012): Theories of Bildung and Growth. Connections and Controversies between Continetal Educational Thinking and American Pragmatism. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.

Polanyi, M. (1966): The Tacit Dimension. Garden City, New York: Doubleday

Wahlström, N.; Alvunger, D.; Wermke, W. (2018). Living in an Era of Comparisons: Comparative Research on Policy, Curriculum and Teaching. In: Journal of Curriculum Studies. 50. 587-594.

Welsch, W. (1999). Transculturality: The Puzzling Form of Cultures Today. In M. Featherstone & S. Lash (eds.). Spaces of culture: City, nation, world (pp. 194-213). London: Sage.

Werler, T.; Tahirslay, A. (2020): Differences in Teacher Education Programs and their Outcomes across Didaktik and curriculum traditions. European Journal of Teacher Education. Available at: file:///C:/Users/ankr9559/Down loads/Werler_Tahirsylaj_2020_DifferencesinteachereducationprogrammesandtheiroutcomesacrossDidaktikandcurriculumtraditions.pdf

Wieland, J. (2014): Governance Ethics: Global value creation, economic organization and normativity. Heidelberg: Springer.

Wulf, Ch. (2013): Anthroplogy. A Continental Perspective. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press.

Zongyi, D. (2020): Knowledge, Content, Curriculum and Didaktik: Beyond Social Realism. Basingstroke: Palgrave.

Operative goals:

The first aim of the workshop series is to get an overview over the actual state of research on pedagogical terminology out of the perspective of the Educational and Cultural Sciences. This will go along with common seminars on the bachelor level and to produce research and publications that contributes substantially to the international debate on pedagogical terminology and initiates new research activities. The aim is to develop a conference, the participants of which will come from different countries in Europe, Sweden, Germany, US, Turkey, etc. By this, an arena will be created for meetings between international and Swedish researchers, broaden their discussions and horizon, and support their networking.

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