Object-Oriented Education

Publikation: Konferencebidrag uden forlag/tidsskriftAbstraktForskningpeer review


Education is traditionally seen as a teleological discipline. Teaching is always done with a purpose in mind. Thus, teaching can be said to be an intentional practice. With a popular Danish expression, one may say that teaching is to want something with someone (Nepper Larsen 2016). In recent years, school systems in the Nordic countries have set a still stronger equate between the idea of wanting something with someone, and the idea of teaching someone something specific. "The purpose of teaching is that students learn something specific," as Per Fibæk Laursen puts it (2015: 37). Thus, the intentions of teaching are not only that students learn about something or learn something, no, they must learn something specific, something which the teacher already knows. The inspiration for this focus on students' achievement of predetermined learning outcomes originates from the American curriculum tradition, where predefined learning-objectives form the basis for the selection of content and methods of teaching. However, the idea of letting such learning-objectives form the basis for teaching, now also permeates the educational policies of the European Union (European Commision 2011). The spread of the idea has led to schools in the Nordic countries being controlled politically through demands for the skills and competencies students must possess, rather than through directions on which content students must meet in the classroom.
Based on speculative realism and object-oriented ontology (Harman 2005, Bogost 2012, Bryant 2014), the article presents a critique of this development. The criticism is based on a questioning of the idea that education should be understood as wanting something with someone. Instead, it is argued that education is the art of introducing Something for someone.

The article aims towards reinstating Something, the objects of the world as the foundation of teaching, and argues that the purpose of teaching is to allow students to submit to the intentions of these objects. In a time where learning objectives are the answers to what students should know and be able to do, and where students are directed towards the development of future skills and 21st Century Skills, it is worth remembering that the skills and behaviors we want students to learn, are only our answers to questions we seem to have forgotten. School must teach students to dwell in the questions that the world presents to them, without resorting too quickly to already known and established answers. The school must be a suspension of the order and answers we have created in our perception of the world, a suspension that frees the objects from the responses and preconceptions that we have laid down over them. The school must be an institution for re-enchantment of the world (Oral 2013), a place where objects are given the opportunity to present their own intentions.
Antal sider1
StatusUdgivet - 2017
BegivenhedNERA 2017 - Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association: Learning and education – material conditions and consequences - Aalborg Universitet, København, København, Danmark
Varighed: 23 mar. 201725 mar. 2017
Konferencens nummer: 45


KonferenceNERA 2017 - Congress of the Nordic Educational Research Association
LokationAalborg Universitet, København


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