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Open Access Floreren als ultiem einddoel van opvoeding en onderwijs

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Human flourishing as an overarching aim of education: a fragile endeavor

Human flourishing can be characterized as living a successful, happy and morally good life. Several philosophers of education have argued that flourishing should be seen as an overarching, ideal aim of education, and that this has or should have several implications for both schools and parents. In this article, which is a summary of my dissertation, I reflect on these theories. Is the fact that these theories tend to place a central emphasis on ideals problematic? And what does aiming for flourishing exactly imply for parents and parenting? I argue that in parenting for flourishing, we deal with a double uncertainty. Parental striving for flourishing is an uncertain endeavor, firstly, because flourishing, being in part dependent on ‘luck’, is inherently fragile; and secondly, because childrearing can be considered to be an ‘existential risk’ that makes parents vulnerable in yet another way. I conclude that in theories on education for flourishing, this double uncertainty has to be taken into account properly, by which I mean that it has to reflect the practices of parenting and the uncertainty of life in general in order to keep in touch with the non-ideal, real world.
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Keywords: education; fragility; human flourishing; ideal; uncertainty

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2019

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  • Het tijdschrift Pedagogiek stelt zich ten doel de wetenschappelijke discussie over opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming binnen het Nederlands taalgebied (Nederland en Vlaanderen) te stimuleren en te ondersteunen. Pedagogiek beoogt naast een bijdrage aan het wetenschappelijke debat ook de maatschappelijke discussie op de terreinen van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming te bevorderen. Bijdragen zullen dan ook uitdrukkelijk worden beoordeeld op zowel hun wetenschappelijke als maatschappelijke relevantie. Pedagogiek biedt: (1) wetenschappelijke verslagen van empirisch, theoretisch en historisch onderzoek op het gebied van opvoeding, onderwijs en vorming, alsmede review studies op onderhavige terreinen; (2) opiniërende bijdragen van wetenschappelijk niveau (Forumbijdragen); (3) boekbesprekingen.

    The journal Pedagogiek (Pedagogy) aims to stimulate and support the scholarly discourse on child rearing, education and training within the Dutch language area (The Netherlands and the Flemish region). Pedagogiek strives to contribute to the scholarly debate, but also desires to boost the public debate on the subject of child rearing, education and training. Therefore, contributions will be judged explicitly on both their scholarly merit and their social relevance. Pedagogiek offers: (1) scholarly articles reporting on empirical, theoretical and historical research in the field of child rearing, education and training, and review studies in the same field; (2) opinion pieces on a scholarly level (panel discussions); (3) book reviews.

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