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Title: A concept of education in the experience of freedom : hermeneutic-phenomenological investigations
Author: Yun, S. I.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7424 7313
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis considers the idea of freedom in education. It attempts to show how prevalent conceptions of education - for example, in progressive child-centred education and in the idea of a liberal education - take on the question of freedom as something that the human being has, a property that human beings have in varying degrees. Freedom is then understood as something that is realised (or frustrated) in one way or another through their education - whether, for example, by allowing children freedom from the start or by restricting their freedom so that they can be initiated into worthwhile pursuits and forms of knowledge. To consider freedom at this level is not only legitimate but desirable up to a point. Freedom is an issue for education. But to confine thinking to these matters is to miss something more fundamental and ultimately more important about freedom. This has to do with the ways that freedom is a precondition for human being: it is freedom that allows human beings to be. This is so because things, for human beings, are understood not just as meaningless objects but in terms of their possibilities. To think of possibility involves a freeing of thought or, otherwise put, a thought that frees. Martin Heidegger provides a uniquely powerful way to this insight, and this thesis is therefore concerned to explore his thought in this respect. As has been seen, this is not just to do with human beings, for on this line of thought, freedom is also a condition for the world to be as world: the idea of world is inseparable from an idea of possibility. Freedom allows human beings to be and things to come into their own nature. Hence, there is a reciprocal relation between human beings and world, and it is the freedom inherent though sometimes latent in thought that allows things to come into presence. This thesis suggests ways of stepping forward from the current discussion of freedom. Within mainstream exploration and analysis of freedom, especially in Anglophone contexts, discussion is typically framed in terms of the contrasting ideas of freedom-from and freedom-to, in the light of which we can then speak of the freedom 'of' a person. Freedom in the sense explored in this thesis, however, is not to best understood in these ways. I am concerned instead with freedom as a phenomenon, which appears in education 'as' something. In a critical reading of Martin Heidegger and Jean-Luc Nancy, the idea of freedom in educational practice and theory is discussed in terms of five themes: as movement, as possibility, as a leap, as language, and as thinking. In the light of such a phenomenology, education comes to be seen as a practice (or set of practices) in which the play of freedom reveals and conceals. In this way, the nature of education is considered as freedom in action, through which the human being is defined, refined, and renewed. It follows that any understanding of education that is blind to this freeing of thought is likely to fall short: for such a freeing of thought should be crucial to teaching and understanding in a subject and to the way the newcomer comes into the world.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available