A genealogical analysis of the concept of "good" teaching: A polemic

Year: 2017

Author: Ka, Yu

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

In this essay I intentionally employ Nietzsche's genealogical method as a means to critique the complex concept of "good" teaching, and at the same time reconstitute "good" teaching in a form that is radically different from contemporary accounts. In order to do this, I start out by undertaking a genealogical analysis to both reveal its complicated historical development and also disentangle the intertwining threads that remain hidden from us so we are aware of the core threads that hold it together. Two major threads are identified in my analysis, which I refer to as: Genealogy I: Teaching as applied science or practice; and, Genealogy II: Teaching as a vocational calling or neutral profession. With this in mind, I take the two value systems (Genealogy I and II) presented in my critique of "good" teaching, and rather than return to old, or create new values, I argue that the true task of any educational endeavour is to make human beings human. Therefore, in the spirit of Nietzsche, I revive, and extend on Nietzsche's account of Bildung as a dynamic way of living timeless educational aims, such as learning to see, think, speak, write, and feel in becoming true human beings.