Why civic education ?

jeudi 12 novembre 2015, par Igor Bijuklič

According to Arendt’s position in her text “Crisis in Education” (1954) school is not the same as the world and should not pretend that it is : “It is an institution, which is placed between the privacy of home and the world in order to make possible the passage from family to the world”. Education and teaching are interrelated and as such they constitute an activity, through which new generations are introduced to the world as it is, where educators are the first representatives of it. For Arendt the purpose of this “introduction” is very clear and in character political. To educate and teach young generations how to live together with other people and share the common world is nothing that can occur optionally or by principles distinctive for the private or economic sphere. The reason why education cannot be only about how to prepare new generations for necessities of life itself or in other words why it must be distinguished from necessities of economic activity, is that it would introduce new generations only into one part of the world and into only one specific human activity, where due to necessities of the life itself, political freedom is absent and impossible to practice. In the same manner education must also be distinguished and separated from politics and political life. The reason for this is following ; education must remain a sort of preparation for future responsibility for the common world. Only if politics is not interfering in this preparation in the sense of indoctrination, determining and planning their future horizons of imagination new generations can prepare and be prepared for future political life as active citizens and thus have the possibility to begin anew. This position is relevant also in rethinking approaches in the ESL question, because it points on one of the decisive elements in giving and presenting the meaning of education to those who are to be educated, that is the development of those human capacities that can enable new generations to be part of the world and take action in it.