"Education as Adaptation": The genealogy of an educational metaphor and its ramifications today

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Abstract / Description of output

This paper wants to demonstrate that evolutionary frameworks in education are not only highly varied in terms of the scientific tradition they originate from, but also different regarding their educational implications. To make that argument, in the first part, I contrast three educational theories grounded in evolution: 1) Spencer’s theory of ‘education for complete living’, 2) Dewey’s notion of ‘education as growth’, and 3) Vygotsky’s concept of ‘education as labour’. In particular, I focus on these three thinkers’ understanding of ‘adaptation’ and their definitions of education in connection to adaptive processes in evolution. In the second part, I use the results of that comparison to critically discuss the use of the adaptation-metaphor in current educational discourses, which, more often than not, do not explicitly define what they mean by ‘adaptation’.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 11 Apr 2021
EventAERA 2021 - virtual
Duration: 8 Apr 2021 → …

Conference

ConferenceAERA 2021
Period8/04/21 → …

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