Vocations and Learning

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 345–364

Aesthetic Bildung in Vocational Education: The Biographical Case of Bookbinding Master Wolfgang B. and His Apprenticeship

Original Paper


In the present article I will be discussing the importance attributed to aesthetic experiences in the vocational education of bookbinding master Wolfgang B. using the philosophy of Friedrich Schiller both to understand what constitutes these processes and to examine Schiller’s thoughts in the light of his recollections. By doing this I hope to elaborate on a potential, and often overlooked, Bildung-related possibility or affordance at least in craft vocational education and training (VET) as well as to articulate a pattern that can be generalized from into other VET contexts.

This leads to a richer understanding of the potentials inherent in teaching skills or capabilities and the pedagogy needed to elicit these as opposed to the belief that teaching technique is a straightforward and unambiguous issue of manual practice. These are in the realm of aesthetic and ethical learning potentials (given that such learning is never automatic) as well as in the connections that one might establish to various fields of scientific and cultural knowledge. Through all of this there emerges a partial description of a vocational Bildung tradition that has its roots in the teaching of crafts.


Apprenticeship Bildung Schiller Aesthetic education Bookbinding 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationStockholm UniversityStockholmSweden

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