Montessori meeting: Pedagogy in a complex world

Thursday 9 March 2023, 4 pm - 5 pm

Join us Thursday, March 9th, from 16.00 to 17.00 in MM02.630 for a discussion on Pedagogy in a complex world. Koen Wessels will discuss pedagogically meaningful ways of living the complex questions of our time with students. 

Pedagogy in a complex world

After the Second World War, there was a growing idea in the Western world that we were near 'the end of history'. That did not indicate the idea that the world would end, but rather the opposite: that we as humanity have developed so far and have overcome so many crises that we have now arrived in calmer waters. Nothing turns out to be less true. Global warming, loss of biodiversity, the downside of digitization, war far from home and ever closer, growing polarization in society, the corona pandemic, decreasing trust in the government; there is enough going on in our shared world that gives rise to scratching our heads. This time, we can say, cannot be characterized as 'the end of history', but rather as an accumulation of complex challenges that ask us to review our view of humanity and the world, and to live our lives differently.

It is in this light that what I referred to in my dissertation as 'a pedagogy of entanglement' is urgent. Starting point: in the biography of every human being (in whatever age phase) there is a hidden here-and-now involvement in current social/ecological issues and this observation calls for a well-considered and experienced pedagogical response through all layers of the education system. The central question during this Montessori meeting is: how can we live 'the questions of our time' together with pupils/students in a pedagogically meaningful way?

About the author

Koen Wessels (1992) is an action researcher at the intersection of pedagogy and complex social issues. He is currently working on a project called ‘Academy of Hope’ within the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development at Utrecht University. This agenda includes a reconsideration of the pedagogical section in research and education in the field of sustainability transitions. He obtained his PhD in 2022 with a pedagogical dissertation entitled ‘pedagogy of entanglement’. Previously, Koen was co-founder of De Bildung Academie, where until recently he was active as a teacher and (teacher) trainer. In addition to his scientific publications, he regularly publishes on op het NIVOZ-forum.

Thursday 9 March 2023, 4 pm - 5 pm
Koen Wessels