Heidegger’s Challenge to Education

  • Steven HodgeEmail author
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)


This chapter summarises the implications of Heidegger’s philosophy for education. His critical insights problematize education in several ways. The very idea of education is thrown into question by Heidegger’s critiques of humanism and instrumental thinking. He characterises humanism as a coupling of standard conceptions of human being, with the intent of shaping humans in accordance with those conceptions. If, as Heidegger claims, the conceptions promoted by different forms of humanism are flawed, then associated educational programs become vehicles for deforming learners. The contemporary instrumental mindset of enframing analysed by Heidegger appears to have become the goal and rationale of much modern education. This mindset seeks to reduce everything to resources, including human beings, and threatens to block off alternative possibilities of Being. Existing learning theories, approaches to teaching and curriculum models are also challenged by Heidegger’s critiques. But his philosophy suggests ways to overcome these threats. An ontological curriculum is possible that promotes openness to Being. Authentic teaching can demonstrate radical openness, fostering authentic learning. Learning itself may be theorised as the process of disentanglement from deadening traditions and superficial forms of life. Education can become an ontological education to nurture a thinking attuned to the disclosure of Being.


Humanism Technology Learning theory Teaching Pedagogy 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Griffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia

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