Tacit Dimensions of Pedagogy
The European arena of pedagogy is actually determined by two central tendencies that partly merge, but mainly constitute a field of tension: At first we have the efforts of a Europe-wide standardization in many pedagogical fields – to think of the introduction of standards in education, again to think of new paradigms such as ‚best practice‘, ‚to be an excellent teacher‘ etc. Secondly, there are integrative and inclusive concepts, i.e. concepts regarding (cultural) diversity and those that are aimed to foster a broad spectrum of competences and abilities etc.
Many scientific approaches disapprove of normative models in pedagogy, which are at the same time a central implication of institutionalized pedagogy. Institutionalized pedagogical acting is in our view mainly ruled by normativity and by phenomena of diversity.
Our work starts at the point where the postmodern end of „master narratives“ of “emancipation” and “societal progress” shows its effects (cp. Lyotard 1979). By this paradigm shift new fields of research are opened up. In the field of anthropology of culture they are picked out as the consequences of the so called „linguistic turn“, the „performative turn“, “practice turn”, „reflexive turn“, „spatial turn“, „material turn“, „iconic/pictorial turn“, „translational turn”. The hypothesis of a „self-referentiality“ of culture, thinking and personal identity is hereby replaced by that of a „self-interpretation“ and “staging” as well as by the reference and recourse to the materiality of the body, of experience and of history. This is carried out by the power of decision and acting as well as according to diverse discourses of power, in the medium of the human corporality, in practices of translation and negotiation, in visual insights and such manifesting themselves in gestures, nonverbal forms of expression, corporal positionings, arrangements or constellations in time and space. Culture is constituted, maintained and changed within social practices that refer to the materiality and to the mediality of the body as well as to other forms of communication (text etc.).
Empirical research, however, takes into account those dimensions of culture that are often not reflected and even not verbally reflectable by the acteurs. Our acting in everyday life is oriented at atheoretical, experiental and practical knowledge (e.g. Mannheim 1964), which is also called implicit or tacit knowledge (Polanyi 1985). This kind of knowledge is established in commonly lived and actively shaped practices, here it is learnt and dynamically modified.
Within the framework of culture, particularly in the field of pedagogy, the numerous forms of normativity and diversity are discursively and practically shaped. Furthermore, they are explicitly and implicitly established, negotiated, and institutionally framed.
The “turns” mentioned above lead to different perspectives on tacit dimensions in pedagogy as to say: the “material” perspective, the analysis of discourses etc. Our aim is to work out these perspectives on tacit dimensions theoretically as well as empirically. Methodological and methodical questions are a special challenge here.