The centrality of learners and their learning in contemporary educational discourse and practice, seems to suggest that the self of the student should be at the heart of the educational endeavour. This is not just an educational programme, but actually an expression of a particular way of thinking about human beings and their position in the world; a way of thinking which, after Levinas, I characterise as egological. In this paper I explore an alternative approach that centres of the suggestion that everything begins with what is given to us, rather than what is claimed, constructed or interpreted by us. I explore this philosophically through a discussion of ideas from Jean-Luc Marion around the phenomenon and phenomenology of ‘giveness’. I connect this to a critical discussion of the role of learning in education and explore three ways in which teaching manifests itself as a gift that occurs beyond learning.
- Jean-Luc Marion
- moral education