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Report 2008:32 R

Bildning

(education)

and pedagogy

The eighth publication in the series about bildning (education) has been written by Gunnar Sundgren, Professor of Pedagogy at StockholmUniversity. He has published a great deal about the subject and has a very wide experience of teacher education.

The pedagogical significance in the concept, bildning, is obvious to most. Education provides individuals with the means to control their lives. Through knowledge, an individual can acquire freedom. So, how can education be designed so that learning and development take place in an optimal manner and contribute to the creation of new knowledge.

According to Gunnar Sundgren, bildning is concerned with the inner motivation to conquer the world, and to be in control of and understand the meaning of one´s existence. Is academia the best place or, in fact, an inappropriate place for this to happen?  Gunnar Sundgren´s view is that life itself is the most formative force and seldom does formal education exert a great influence. At the same time, there are many stories of teachers who have been inspirational and had a profound effect on the personal development of their students.

Is formal education adapted to deal with bildning? According to Gunnar Sundgren, much of the teaching and learning taking place in schools and higher education institutions is dominated by technical rationality, objectivity and superficial learning at the expense of learning to making judgements, considering various aspects of problems, creating theories and in-depth learning.
 
Gunnar Sundgren raises many basic and important questions and the Agency hopes that this publication will prove a source of inspiration for discussion.

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