“Bildung”: Concept, evolution and influence in Western pedagogy from a historical and current perspective

Alicia Sianes-Bautista

Abstract


Germany is a recognized "laboratory country" which key influence on contemporary thinking and pedagogy has been unanimously recognized by the currently most respected academic comparatists. The Bildung concept has had a special influence on Western pedagogy, which, incardinated in the German 18th century’s neohumanist movement, is a concept coined and developed by Humboldt with rich and multiple meanings, which analysis seems necessary for the purpose of unravelling all the wealth of nuances and implications that its projection is susceptible of generate in the education scope. It is interesting for the theoretical corpus of pedagogical discipline to bear in mind the unprecedented educational relevance of this German concept which has been taken as the object of study in this paper, and to analyse its etymology and meaning, as well as the real influence of this term in Western pedagogy, not only from a historical point of view, but also analysing its impact in the 21st century. In order to carry this out effectively, it has been applied a qualitative methodology, mainly based on the analysis of content through a detailed review of the specialized literature about the subject of study. The obtained results include, among others, the etymological origin of Bildung, in addition to its conceptual and educational development throughout history until it comes to converge in the current state of the issue. In conclusion, it is evident that this concept has been taken as a unique precedent of multiplicity of educational and formative currents not only in Western European but also in Anglo-American pedagogy, having evolved to the point of even conceiving itself as a facilitator of current educational processes, which are inevitably framed in the ICT and web 2.0 era.


Keywords


Bildung; Pedagogy; Western World; Education

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5944/reec.30.2017.18850

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