“The Enlightenment was a Huge Pedagogic Project”: Reconsidering the Legacies of Anglo-American Curriculum, North European Bildung, and Chinese Wisdom Traditions amidst the Current Economic, Educational and Social Crisis

Tero Autio


The paper is the keynote presentation in the conference at Hangzhou university, China, November 2014 that was dedicated to the publication of the research report W.F. Pinar (ed.), Curriculum Studies in China: Intellectual Histories, Present Circumstances. The presentation deals – as an attempt to theorize the present policy measures - with the present education crisis. The obsessive worldwide audit and assessment culture as an imitation of the economy in education is introducing the policy initiatives by the authoritative bodies like the OECD, EU and the US to which Finnish education policy analyst Pasi Sahlberg has referred by the concept of the GERM, Global Education Reform Movement, “a virus that is killing education”. I tentatively and shortly analyze the historical, theoretical, and theological trajectories in order to better understand historical conditionings of the present and the emerging vistas after the present crisis. In that sense, it may be that light can come from the East as the promising Chinese “liberalization and modernization reforms” in education with its hybrid encounters between Western curriculum theories and its own reactivated “Wisdom Traditions” may imply.

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