Input: 9 Fragen einer Bildungsphilosophie

Der tschechische Erziehungswissenschaftler Jan Habl übersetzt die Allegorien von J. A. Comenius’ Werk “Labyrinth” in die Form von neun wichtigen, zeitlosen Fragen:

1) What is the proper motive for seeking an education? Education is not and must not be a purely pragmatic means of obtaining an easier life.

2) Is it possible to find a didactic approach that wouldn’t be onesidedly loaded with cognitive components (so as not to split the head)? How can specific material be truly understood and not merely mirrored? What approach could be taken that is without the abomination of violence? With what approach can the student remain actively engaged (not needing a “posterior of lead”)?

3) What are the necessary preconditions for a student being able to study? Money should never be one of them (the “purse of gold”).

4) How to prevent fragmentary knowledge (“they had eyes and no tongue”); how to provide a solid, holistic education? Work out everything, from every side, in its entirety (omnia, omnes, omneo), says Comenius later.

5) In what way should the study materials (books) be handled, so as to allow the student to get the most from them? What about the student who doesn’t read (who “studies without studying”)?

6) How to tackle didactically the huge wealth of knowledge in a way that the student doesn’t faint or become overwhelmed?

7) What makes a scholar a scholar? Outward appearances? A good library? Titles?

8) What is the true meaning and reason for writing a book or publishing a work? Why is there so much watering down, recycling and even stealing from what has already been written many times? Shouldn’t one write with an almost sacred respect for truth?

9) Shouldn’t the mission of the university be to find unity in diversity (uni-versitas)? Isn’t that type of humility which preserves the dignity even of those who have a different opinion part of academic excellence? Isn’t virtue one aspect of scholarship? Or the ability to overcome personal interests, vanity, pride or other character defects so as to not hinder the meaningful and peaceful dialogue with another?

Jan Hábl. Teaching and Learning Through Story. VKW: Bonn, 2014. (32)