Nature and Bildung: Pedagogical Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century Germany

Eckhardt Fuchs

in The Moral Authority of Nature

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780226136806
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226136820 | DOI:
Nature and Bildung: Pedagogical Naturalism in Nineteenth-Century Germany

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Despite the discursive and institutional hegemony of neohumanistic philosophers, educationalists, and school officials in the nineteenth century, a subversive discourse aiming at incorporating the “natural” and the sciences into educational theory and practice never ceased to exist. This discourse is called “pedagogical naturalism,” the common theme of which was child education and school reform, although one has to keep in mind that it encompasses a variety of meanings. The entries in pedagogical encyclopedias and dictionaries reflect these differences. This chapter suggests dividing pedagogical naturalism into two main strands: first, there is the romantic strand, with its concept of the natural as the original, naturally grown form of life and education; second, the rational strand that aimed at an empirical foundation of natural education.

Keywords: pedagogical naturalism; educational theory; nature and science; natural education; neohumanistic philosophers; nineteenth-century Germany

Chapter.  11301 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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