About Pedagogization: From the Perspective of the History of Education

For history researchers, it is not a needless luxury to consider from time to time the content and the significance of the basic concepts they use, certainly if they have the ambition to interpret and/or explain history in addition to purely describing it. This self-reflection, compelled by the annually recurring dialogue with educational philosophers (cf. Smeyers & Depaepe, 2006),2 need not necessarily place an emphasis on philosophical abstraction but can just as well start from an examination of the history of one’s own research. Such an approach need not succumb to navel-gazing. Instead, such historical self-reflection possibly points to the creeping (and thereby largely unconscious) shifts in meaning that accompany various fashions (consider the swirling “turns” of recent years), which affect the social scientific vocabulary (historiographic, philosophical, pedagogical, psychological sociological, etc.). By rendering such developments explicit, the epistemological wrestling with the stream of experiences we call 'history', a process that can be chaotic, may in the future perhaps be somewhat less sloppy. Admittedly, even the most critical concepts that emerged from our own work were not always used with methodological care and/or theoretical purity.

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