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  • Writer's pictureAssoziation:E

Formation & Education

Do we ask ourselves what education should look like in order to achieve certain goals? Or do we ask ourselves what these goals are that we want to achieve? Are they defined? By whom? What are we being educated to be? To become educated people? Already Theodor W. Adorno has remarked: "The moment one asks: 'Education - what for?', where this 'what for' is no longer self-evident, naively present, everything gets into uncertainty and requires difficult reflections"[1].


What is this education, of which we must first reflect with difficulty where it is to lead? "Precisely not so-called shaping of people, because one has no right to shape people from the outside; but not also mere imparting of knowledge, the deadness-thingness of which has often enough been demonstrated; but the production of a correct consciousness." For "a democracy that is not only to function, but to work according to its concept, demands mature people." And the "concretization of maturity consists in the fact that the few people who are disposed to it work with all their energy to ensure that education is an education for contradiction and resistance." People educated to reflect, to contradict, to think, to judge, to be self-determined are educated people in the sense of emancipation.


Discussions about goals of education, or values underlying it, remain empty without reflection on the concrete conditions of their present plight. For noble intentions have always characterized pedagogy, while it has always remained the accomplice of prevailing conditions.


If the goal of society as a whole is a self-determined life without suffering, it falls within the scope of education to develop the individual psychological aspect of self-determination in everyone. To this end, they must be enabled by changed conditions; at the same time, however, an emancipatory education and upbringing makes possible certain expressions of more humane conditions in the first place. Adorno again: "[E]very democracy that is not only to function, but to work according to its concept, demands mature people." And the "concretization of maturity consists in the few people who are disposed to it working with all their energy to ensure that education is an education for contradiction and resistance." This is a good place to start.


We started with four projects:

1 Since 2018, we have been organizing dialogue events, first under the name Agora, then as Assoziation:E:n. Based on scientifically grounded inputs and an associative form of conversation, the aim here is to exchange perspectives, elaborate common points of view, and reflect on shared praxis.

2 The Des.orientierungstage (Disorientation Days) are open seminars in Munich in which boundaries are questioned and limitation is sabotaged. Students from a wide variety of disciplines put the social explosive power of their topics up for discussion in different formats.

3 The workshop-concept Who Cares? is an offer for groups in which people are there for each other and would like to learn from the findings of (reproduction) labor and gender research. The programme is designed for and designs social spaces in which people get to know and develop emancipatory approaches to the practical management of care work.

4 The practical seminar Psyche & Daily Life explores the effects of everyday life on psyche and trains a critical, emancipatory understanding of the psychological conditions and attributions of our time.


Feel free to contact us if you would like to pursue these tracks with us: info@assoziation-e.org




[1] All quotes are from: Adorno, Theodor W. Erziehung zur Mündigkeit: Vorträge und Gespräche mit Hellmut Becker 1959 bis 1969. Suhrkamp Verlag, 2013.



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