Educational theory as topological rhetoric: the concepts of pedagogy of Johann Friedrich Herbart and Friedrich Schleiermacher

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The debate concerning the relation of the theory of education and the practice of education is not new. In Germany, these discussions are an integral part of the development of educational science in the eighteenth century which is closely connected to Johann Friedrich Herbart and Friedrich Schleiermacher. Their concepts illustrate different answers upon the question of how to connect theory and practice in education. And although those answers are embedded in a very specific horizon of ethical and metaphysical ideas, the problems which are addressed in those discussions are still important in modern debates. The paper focuses upon the concepts of Herbart and Schleiermacher and presents those theories in the problematic context of the possibilities and limitations of educational theory and its importance for educational practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)265-273
Number of pages9
JournalStudies in Philosophy and Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Feb 2012


  • educational theory
  • educational practice
  • history of education
  • philosophy of education
  • educational science
  • Germany
  • age of englightenment

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