Issue n° 49

Opening, Laurence Cornu

Moral Chronicle: Ultimate: Malaise in Ethics, Ilaria Pirone

Prompted by a sense of unease in the educational world, the article proposes a re-reading of Freud’s Civilization and Its Discontents by placing at its centre the question of ethics expressed in the notions of the limit and of the impossible. The topological function of the limit allows the re-design of the boundary of what connects with existence and what holds civilization short of the margins of reality. In the face of the moralization of ethical discourse reading this essay, as work on the edge, allows us to consider the constitutive malaise of all research from an ethical position.

Notion: Surprise, Joris Thievenaz

If there are conventional notions and representative of the philosophical enterprise, there is no doubt that “surprise” is one of them. From Antiquity this notion refers to stepping back and questioning the world around us through which the quest for knowledge is initiated and new knowledge is generated. Surprise therefore occupies in this respect a central and privileged place in classical philosophy. But this strategy can also, according to the pragmatist perspective proposed by John Dewey, be studied as a settled process, playing a concrete and observable function in the acquisition of new knowledge by agents in the course of their ordinary activities. According to this approach surprise is no longer just a distant metaphysical and universal point of reference designating the origin of thought but also an effective process through which every individual enriches his experience throughout his life.

Report: Diffuse Education

Presentation, Didier Moreau

From Unstructured or Informal Learning to Unstructured or Informal Education, Gilles Brougère

Analysis of how there can be learning outside educational situations leads, despite the evidence, to difficulties linked to contestable nomenclature and to resistance. Yet it is essential to conceptualize such a dimension, whatever it is called, that may appear to be fundamental to characterize the human being who is a learner in all spheres (or rather in all situations). It is necessary to conceptualize the link between formal education and informal learning, the diversity of learning situations, and leave room for a form of unstructured education lying between the formal and the informal.

Relations and the Educational Dynamic, André Petitat

The development of work on informal education has the advantage of highlighting the diversity and importance of learning that occur outside of the relationships of school. A number of major historical transformations has emerged outside and even against schools. Instead of describing the opposing and overlapping features of the formal and the informal, the article proposes to circumvent the limits attached to that distinction, marked by the dominance of education systems. It considers that every relationship contains educational processes, which allows research to envisage not using a major distinction, but invoking all distinctions in a useful analysis (constraint versus freedom, group versus individual, face-to-face versus virtual, adults versus children, knowledge versus know-how, etc.). This approach is illustrated by two examples relating to educational processes (creative reception of stories and utopian trans-formation) and two others that bear on relationships and their connections (the blurring of boundaries between factual and fictional and the “algorithmisation” of social connections).

Formal Education and Culture in the Pedagogic Lessons of Georg Simmel, Matthieu Amat

This article presents some aspects of the teaching approach of Georg Simmel, a unique synthesis between educational views that are at first sight opposites: the resolute respect for life and individuality – the student, the teacher and their relationship – which links them to pedagogies of a “modern” or “active” character and upholding the centrality of objects considered to bear an objective and transcendent value to a certain degree in respect of an individual’s life. We show that the formation of personality, even when we conceived it as merely formal or functional based on the development of capabilities, requires confrontation with historically transmitted objectives, requiring both formal and unstructured education. We then try to trace a more complete picture of education that goes beyond the opposition of form and content using the concept of relationship, and what is called culture.

Between Theory and Practice, the Place of Tact: Comments on Education of the Self, Elena K. Théodoropoulou

Gradually, as the subject enters the world of his own development, he creates a praxis environment in which he takes responsibility for himself through acts of self-formation. Once taken on board by the subject, education becomes an intense reflexive exercise referring, on the one hand, to “self-transformation through self” and, on the other hand, to the relationship between the activity of the subject and practical reality. The text highlights some aspects of the issues that the process of self-education involves, especially regarding the tension between theory and practice. In this context, Tactcan be considered as a practical capacity of both connection and distinction of innate threads that cross intentions and acts of self-education. The work of philosophy of education would rather be to introduce and to defend systematically the impetus of thought at the very heart of conflicting claims on the hegemony of theory or practice. Against the current of a promotion of voluntarist praxis that seems in general to correspond throughout the history of education to a metaphysics of presence, philosophy of education could be used to explore the alternative of “I’d rather not…” act.

Recovery Approach: Unstructured Education and Psychic Health, Emmanuelle Jouet

In the context of a general demand for autonomy, the approach of “recovery” in mental health is beginning to become widespread. By questioning its foundations, whether it is a matter of self-narration, the power to act or of self-development, this article finds that they are part of informal education. Thus, the “recovery” may appear as an attempt at valorization and self-valorization of the results of the experience of chronic disorders. It allows the patient to develop his power to act and to develop the means to best adapt to the new regime of life, with its problems, in self-education. This approach has uncovered roles for education and research in the case of some patients. The “recovery” being both learning the art of loss and the art of living again, it can be conceived as an essential analytic tool, a heterotopia of education for self-acceptance, and for acceptance of others and the world.

Studies: From the Century of the Leader to that of a Reconquest of the Democratic Space. Interview with Yves Cohen (Luca Paltrinieri and Valentin Schaepelynck)

Yves Cohen is a historian and director of studies at EHESS. His works problematize the twentieth century as a history of practices and rationalities that claim to guide them. He is the author of theSiècle des chefs. Une histoire transnationale du commandement et de l’autorité (1890-1940), published by Editions Amsterdam in 2013. In this interview, he discusses the genesis of his transnational project – in France, Germany, USA, Russia – the concern for control, which also crosses boundaries and is to be found within many industrial and political organizations, educational sciences and more generally the social sciences, which themselves are actively involved in its definition and its dissemination. It explains his use of the concept of “preoccupation”, allowing it to focus on how the players problematize this concern in their practices. Foucault’s notion of governmentality seems to offer an alternative to social psychology in the wake of Le Bon. He also mentions social movements, which recently all over the world, while giving an illustration of how “crowds” can behave without a master, are nevertheless reasonable crowds which think and act according to other criteria than those of the institutions of representative politics. His works also investigate various forms of these contemporary mobilizations, from Ukraine to Brazil. Writing a Diary as Tool of Self-formation, Rémi Hess, Augustin Mutuale, Christine Caille, Anne-Claire Cormery, Déborah Gentes

Studies: Education for Solidarity: Or the Sense of a Debt, Éric Dubreucq

Solidarity, as we know, was introduced into education in the late nineteenth century, at the same time as it became a political issue and a program for action. This study will highlight the work of James Guillaume, a proponent of solidarity education, who a quarter of a century ago, as well as a republican conception designed an alternative. In the “libertarian” or socialist manifestation in which it is given it expression Guillaumian solidarity indeed argues that society owes, in respect of the child, an unconditional debt and that education aims to establish in the child the sense of self-belonging that he bears: the human child is presented as a power to be freed. In the solidaristic manifestation, on the contrary, the child is, at birth, in debt vis a vis society and of a past that shape its being and to which he must submit. To conceive of education at times as a debt owed by society to the child and at times as a debt on the part of the child thus constitutes an internal tension of education for solidarity, which oscillates between a liberation of the child and his subjection to the social world. How We Conceptualize and Implement Education for Sexuality at School?, Jean-Yves Casadepax