Radical Pedagogy

Radical Pedagogy (2015)

Volume 12 Issue 1

ISSN: 1524-6345

Pedagogy and Education in the Context of Globalisation: A Historical Reconstruction of Eurocentrism in Pedagogy

Yngve Troye Nordkvelle

Department of Education and Social Science

Lillehammer University College, Norway

E-mail: Yngve.Nordkvelle@hil.no


     This paper explores the relationship between European educational thought, colonialism, and eurocentrism.  It argues that pedagogy and contemporary educational thought had their origins in earlier discourses of European colonialism. These discourses underwent a transformation with the conquest of the Americas and the debates on slavery, missionary activity, and salvation. Ideas and images established in the 16th century became central to the evolving modernist and anthropocentric worldview. In turn, these ideas were reified and came to be applied to educational practice by thinkers such as Comenius and Rousseau.  These ideas, as devised by the philosophers, provided the rationale for mass education. Finally, the distinction between primitive and complex thinking remained the root metaphor in the development of the cognitive sciences in the 20th century. The paper concludes with the contention that as humanity approaches a pluralist era of polycentrism, the role of colonialism and the survival of Eurocentric ideas should be self-consciously integrated into the history of pedagogy.

      Keywords: Eurocentrism, pedagogy, history of education, polycentrism, global