Publication 7824

Vanderstraeten R. (2001) The autonomy of communication and the structure of education. Educational Studies 27(4): 381–391. Fulltext at
Traditional analyses of education are subject centered. Education is either viewed from the perspective of the educator (teaching, parenting) or from that of the pupil (learning, child development). These analyses do not facilitate the study of education as a social phenomenon. This paper aims for the clarification of the ‘conditio socialis’ of education. It highlights the autonomy of social systems vis-à-vis their environment. Communication is described as the constitutive element of social systems. Education is analyzed as a process within which a double system-reference comes into play, viz. to social systems and to human beings. The structure of education is analyzed in the context of this interaction between social systems and human beings. In this context, the improbability of successful education comes to the fore.


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