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Education and psycho-utopianism - leaving no outsiders?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2004 (English)Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Abstract: In the history of ideas some researchers have recently coined the term psycho-utopianism, denoting the notion that the ideal society presupposes a new man, i e, that the psychological nature of man must change before society can change. Cultural studies have noted this line of thinking also within the so-called New Age movement. However, the notion of a New Age is not really new, it occurred already at the beginning of the Modern Epoch; in 17th century Europe. In these times, the educational philosopher J A Comenius was writing his canonical work Didactica Magna and other texts on education, science and philosophy, with the ultimate aim of contributing to a new world order. Comenius was one of the first modern educators to argue for a general education of both boys and girls irrespective of social class. This all-inclusiveness actually seems to be an essential trait of educational psycho-utopian ideas. Three hundred years later, B F Skinner suggested psychological methods of education and upbringing, also with the ultimate aim to transform society. Skinner regarded operational conditioning as an educational mechanism applicable to everyone without exception, denying the significance of any inborn nature of the human psyche. In the paper I will look closer at the similarities and differences between these two thinkers regarding their psycho-utopian notions and their relation to the issue of insiders and outsiders. I will conclude with similar reflections on psycho-utopian tendencies in present discourses on ICT and education

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2004.
National Category
Pedagogy
Research subject
Education
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-18547OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-18547DiVA, id: diva2:592183
Conference
The British Society for History of Education Conference in Dublin, November 19-21, 2004
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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Dahlin, Bo

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  • apa
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  • en-US
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  • Other locale
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