Rousseau and Arendt in the iPad class, the old roots of present day discussions on technology in schools
Rousseau en Arendt in de iPad-klas, de oudere wortels van hedendaagse discussies over technologie op school
Faculty of Social Sciences. Instructional and Educational Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
, p. 202-209
University of Antwerp
Some of the present discussions in education seem rather to tackle technology such as tablets and their application, but in this paper we argue that these discussions hide a much older debate on what education should be. We describe how the romantic vision of Rousseau, with its emphasis on natural development of the child, still acts as an important source of inspiration for proponents of technology in education. While some of the opponents, who propose a more central role for the school and teachers, are sometimes regarded as conservative, we will argue that this is more nuanced as their vision is rooted among others in the work of Hannah Arendt with a strong emphasis on school and teachers. We describe five oppositions in thinking about education: learning versus teaching, how central the self-dependency of the child has to be, the role of the teacher, the learning environment and in which way education needs to be progressive.