Ortega y Gasset, José (1883–1955)
Introduction: Thinking the Present
Strictly speaking, José Ortega y Gasset (Madrid 1882–Madrid 1955) is not a “theorist of education” in the modern and specialized sense of the concept. He is, however, a “thinker of education,” a “philosopher of education,” and in his own way an “educator.” Careful reading of his pedagogical writings reveals a line of thinking that continually problematizes the idea of education, thereby generating new concepts and enlightening metaphors. Ortega’s pedagogical vocation is geared mainly to the cultural regeneration of the Spain of his lifetime. Although he once said he dared not harbor any particular pedagogical ideas himself, he was concerned with how the younger generations were being educated. For instance, in Biología y Pedagogía(1920), he wrote “elementary teaching should ensure and foster a primary, spontaneous life of the spirit, which is exactly the same today as 10,000 years ago, and which must be defended from the ineluctable mechanization of...
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