An educational cave story (On animals that go to 'school').

There is an ongoing discussion on the meaning and importance of the very notion of learning itself for the theory and practice of education. Today, in this debate about “learnification,” its relevance is mainly questioned either by focusing on the aspect of ‘teaching’ or by revaluating the notion of “study.” This essay rests on the conviction that in order to resist the learning discourses and policies and to reclaim the notion of education it is worthwhile to also reconsider our understanding of “school,” thereby avoiding to reduce it immediately to a normalizing or functional institution and trying to give the notion a different flavor. The aim is to contribute to this endeavor by offering an educational cave story referring to the event of “school,” a story to be distinguished from Plato’s famous and powerful philosophical cave fable. It is an exercise in educational thought to resist the actual learning discourses and policies not by criticizing them but by trying to “repopulate the desert of our imagination.”

Masschelein, J. (2018). An educational cave story (On animals that go to 'school'). In P. Smeyers (Eds.), International handbook of philosophy of education (pp. 1185-1200). (Springer International Handbooks of Education). Springer.