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Education and human development

Our interest as philosophers in education as the social arrangement that aims to support human development is fuelled by what we believe to be the deep crisis – conceptually, normatively and socially – of the school system in contemporary Western societies. The tendency to call these societies highly developed reflects the dominance of classical economic models of linear and potentially unlimited growth – models, we argue, that distort our understanding of development.

Our work seeks to contribute to a more coherent and plausible understanding of human development, on both the individual and the collective level. Much of our inspiration comes from an engagement with the questions posed by pragmatism, enactivism and ecologism. Zooming in on the educational scaffolds of human development our focus is on a number of themes:

  • lifelong learning for everyone
  • reciprocal interdependencies between students and teachers
  • the power dynamics of testing
  • embodied accounts of cognitive development
  • learning in context
  • transformative accounts of learning
  • cultural construction of human development
  • the future of academia
  • whole school approaches
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Some of our publications:

Jan Bransen,  Homo Educandus. Why Our School System Is Broken and What We Can Do About It2021. Nijmegen: Radboud University Press.

Saskia van Schaik, ..., Jan Bransen, 'University of the future, the future of Universities: a paper positioning care for all forms of life at the heart of sustainable universities' (manuscript)

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Some of our projects:

Rozi Tóth, Re:place ...

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