The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education

The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education

by David Kennedy
Pub. Date:
State University of New York Press

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The Well of Being: Childhood, Subjectivity, and Education

In this wide-ranging work, David Kennedy undertakes a philosophically grounded analysis of the history of childhood, the history of adulthood, and their interrelationship. Using themes and perspectives from the history of childhood, mythology, psychoanalysis, art, literature, philosophy, and education, the author locates the experience of childhood across all stages of the human life cycle, and thereby weighs its transformative potential for human culture. He offers a nuanced approach to child study that raises issues about how adults see children and how children see themselves, which could lead to a qualitatively different system of teacher preparation—a system that views the child as participant rather than object in the structure of social reproduction. This sweeping review of conceptions of and approaches to childhood yields a profound vision of what schooling should be like.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780791468265
Publisher: State University of New York Press
Publication date: 07/28/2006
Series: SUNY series, Early Childhood Education: Inquiries and Insights Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 247
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 Questioning Childhood 1

Whose Child? 1

Which Adult? 5

The Western Construction of Childhood 8

Theorizing Childhood 13

Adult-Child Dialogue 14

The Child Before Us: Education, Parenting, and the Evolution of Subjectivity 21

2 The Primordial Child 27

The Divine Child 27

The Romantic Child 44

Romanticism, Education, and the New Humanity 56

3 The Invention of Adulthood 63

Adultism and Models of the Self 63

The Evolution of Adulthood/Childhood 75

The Evolution of the Adult-Child Relationship 85

4 Childhood and the Intersubject 105

Boundary Work 105

The Ego Dethroned 116

The Emergence of the Intersubject 120

Psychogenic Theory of History and the Present Age 132

The Dialectics of Reason and Desire 136

The Privileged Stranger 142

5 Reimagining School 151

The Purpose of Schooling 151

The Space of Dialogue 158

The School as Laboratory of the Third Way of Living 165

The Dark and the Light 183

Notes 187

Bibliography 211

Index 229

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