Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 31, Issue 3, pp 265–273

Educational Theory as Topological Rhetoric: The Concepts of Pedagogy of Johann Friedrich Herbart and Friedrich Schleiermacher


DOI: 10.1007/s11217-012-9287-6

Cite this article as:
Kenklies, K. Stud Philos Educ (2012) 31: 265. doi:10.1007/s11217-012-9287-6


The debate concerning the relation of the theory of education and the practice of education is not new. In Germany, these discussions are an integral part of the development of educational science in the eighteenth century which is closely connected to Johann Friedrich Herbart and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Their concepts illustrate different answers upon the question of how to connect theory and practice in education. And although those answers are embedded in a very specific horizon of ethical and metaphysical ideas, the problems which are addressed in those discussions are still important in modern debates. The paper focuses upon the concepts of Herbart and Schleiermacher and presents those theories in the problematic context of the possibilities and limitations of educational theory and its importance for educational practice.


SchleiermacherHerbartEducational theoryEducational practiceHistory of educationPhilosophy of educationEducational scienceGermanyEighteenth centuryAge of enlightenment

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Forschungszentrum Lab. Aufklärung, (Bachstr. 18k), Institut für Bildung und KulturUniversity of JenaJenaGermany