Introduction

What could be said of education?

Today, one thing seems to be said everywhere – by students, by educators, in institutions everywhere where education takes place – the same word is said with regard to education: crisis.

What should be said?

There is in the crisis of education, as in any crisis, as Hannah Arendt writes, an opportunity: “And that is the opportunity provided by the very fact of crisis – that tears away facades and obliterates prejudices – to explore into whatever has been laid bare of the essence of the matter”. The crisis is not yet disaster. It only becomes so if we do not manage to respond to it. If we deny the questions raised by the crisis and the very sense of Krísis (the ability to make a decision) – that is, if we deny it becoming a moment of reflection and a possibility for action. “A crisis forces us back to the questions themselves and requires from us either new or old answers, but in any case direct judgments.” If, on the one hand, the crisis of education requires us to raise questions, it provides an opportunity for it on the other. Perhaps we could even say that if education forms an ‘upbringing’ [cf. The latin ēducātiō: breeding, rearing, bringing up] then, what education raises in us is this ability of critical questioning in itself.

It is this sort of question we should attempt to formulate in order to raise from it’s crisis an opportunity for education. Me must – like Johan Friedrich Zöllner’s famous question ‘was ist Aufklärung’ – pose a question that imposes a possibility for re-newed thinking in the public debate; We should ask: What is education?

In an new anthology we attempt to do just that.