Studies in Philosophy and Education

, Volume 23, Issue 5–6, pp 367–391

The Establishment Of The Standard History Ofphilosophy of Education and Suppressed Traditions of Education


History of education emerges during the course of the nineteenth century in Germany and is marked by four features. It is educational, and not scientific in nature, because it was written primarily for teacher education and training; it is national, or even nationalistic; it is oriented almost exclusively towards German philosophy; and it is indebted to Lutheran Protestantism. This model of pedagogical historiography leaves its mark on the historiographies that emerged later in England, France, and the United States. Taking the example of Rousseau, this contribution makes it clear that these Lutheran and idealist premises lead to a one-sided historiography, so that the republican tradition in which Rousseau stood could be suppressed. On this basis, the paper points up the methodological necessity in historical research to examine contexts, giving up the idea of one history of education in favor of reconstruction of various traditions. The gain lies in making visible suppressed transnational languages that educational reflection made use of for centuries. In particular, a connection is revealed between the republican education of the eighteenth century in Europe and the concern with the issue of the “good citizen” that has preoccupied the American discussion from Jefferson to the Pragmatists to Diane Ravitch.


history and historiography of education history of ideas internationalism methods of history of education republicanism Rousseau 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für historische Bildungsforschung PestalozzianumPüdagogische Hochschule Zürich/Universitü ZürichZürichSchweiz

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