PED8008 - Perspectives on Bildung


Lessons are not given in the academic year 2024/2025

Course content

Today Bildung has been established as an important term in pedagogy, implicit in conceptions of living and humane cultures, and explicit in discourses about sustainable modern education systems. We recognise this in statements implying that education is first and foremost concerned with a well-directed development of the individual’s physical, social, esthetical and moral abilities, and that such a disciplined development of the personality will result in an educated human that displays a well-balanced development of all abilities: A human that has fully realised their own human attributes.Based on the bildung concept as it took form in 18th century Germany and is exemplified through the development of the modern subject in the Bildungsroman, the course will take a closer look at how the concept in different ways has influenced our western understanding of pedagogy and education up until today: From Humboldt’s proposal for reforming the German education system, Hegel’s detailed descriptions of how the individual develops from an uneducated state to a state of absolute self-confidence, Nietzsche’s conception of untimely Bildung, Adorno’s reflections on half-bildung, Gadamer’s ideas of Bildung as something that simply happens, something that appeals to us and surprises us (by raising us to the universal), Habermas’ understanding of Bildung as an important part of the communicative competence, Klafki’s perspectives on categorical Bildung, to more post-modern descriptions of the great story of Bildung.

Learning outcome

The aim of the course is to make candidates familiar with central themes in Social Sciences and Philosophy of Education in connection with the tension between modern and post-modern education

Learning methods and activities

Lectures, workshops, seminars.Handing of paper 3 months after completing the course

Compulsory assignments

  • Approved attendence in lectures and submitted paper

Course materials

Reading list can be obtained from the Department of Education.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
PED8007 1.5 AUTUMN 2019
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  3.5 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level



Language of instruction: -

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Education
Contact information

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Education and Lifelong Learning


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