Radical Pedagogy (2015)
Volume 12 Issue 1
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
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