What does an anthropologist think

All concepts of cultural education are based on ideas of people, i.e. basic anthropological assumptions. Cultural education and pedagogy as a whole are always concerned with the difference between what is and what should be, the difference between the perception of an empirical-actual state and the determination of change goals (and the attempt to achieve these goals). Educational images of man reflect precisely these differences. Therefore, dealing with them is a fundamental condition of any scientifically enlightened pedagogy.

The inevitability of images of man

It is not trivial that all education in theory and practice has to do with images of human beings. In all educational activity there are, if not explicit, then always at least implicit images of man. So they contain statements about what man is and what his destiny is. Accordingly, images of man always combine empirical and normative elements; they serve as complex drafts of human life practice in everyday life as well as in the science of orientation about good and bad, true and false, beautiful and ugly, healthy and sick, etc. (Meinberg 1988, Weber 1995, Wulf 1997). In them, in different degrees of awareness and reflection, experiences, fears and hopes not only of the present, but above all of the past are reflected. Accordingly, images of man are inescapable; they form an essential basis not only for all educational action, but for all action in general, because they structure the expectations associated with action. As a kind of deep structure, they are a genuine part of “normal” human consciousness - and they are just as different in the past and present as the historical forms of being and consciousness of people. Images of man usually also contain an implicit pedagogy, with corresponding statements about the correct development of the person and their guidance or advancement, about the phases of life and the life course, about the correct handling of time, space and sociality and, of course, about the correct one Dealing with the other, transcendence. In the 20th century, for example, “Take the knife in your right hand!” Or “Hold straight!” Were often statements in bourgeois German families with paternal or maternal authority, in which complete pedagogies, entire cosmologies of norms and values ​​and pedagogical Practices were included. It was no coincidence that it was about questions of taste and attitude (Bourdieu 1982, Liebau / Zirfas 2011). This could, for example, be developed in detail from a historical, sociological, psychological, medical, educational perspective and would make the history-relatedness of these statements just as visible as the history-relatedness of the scientific and public discourses about these statements. This is what is meant by the talk of the double historicity, the “twofold historicity and culturality” that is, “which result from the historicity and culturality of the perspectives of the anthropological researchers and from the historical and cultural character of the content and objects of the research “(Wulf 2009a: 9).

Normally, implicit images of man remain implicit and correspondingly stable; they are realized in largely unconscious habitual practices. In crises (existential experiences, unexpected cultural contacts, etc.), they can of course break open and be more or less restructured (Liebau 1987: 93).

By far the largest part of pedagogical interactions in everyday life is essentially regulated by implicit images of man, which the actors involved follow. This simple statement already illustrates the modern situation of plurality. In all everyday situations and also in all educational situations, people under modern conditions always encounter situations in which highly different implicit images of man are present simultaneously or one after the other, without their rank, legitimacy and plausibility being decided; Accordingly, all those involved inevitably have to deal with this plurality in some way and orientate themselves in it (Wulf et al. 2001). Of course, this also applies to all educational situations.

In explicitly pedagogical contexts, however, there is a different starting point. According to its tradition, explicit pedagogy is always based on the explicit question of man and his ontogeny; it has this question as a prerequisite, however historically and culturally different the answers may be (Bollnow 1975, Flitner 1963, Gerner 1986, Wulf 1997, Scheunpflug 2001).

It comes as no surprise that the question of the image of man has been and is being raised again and again in pedagogical discourses. It makes a difference whether one believes with Jean-Jacques Rousseau that everything is good "as it comes out of the hands of the Creator" and only then does everything spoil "in the hands of man" (Rousseau 1993: 9), and oneself Therefore, go in search of an education corresponding to the good human nature, whether one believes with August-Hermann Francke in the abysmal sinfulness of every single person determined by original sin and thinks education as a cleansing path to penance (Menck 2001) or whether one thinks of human beings primarily in the context of the biological theory of evolution as a genetically controlled natural being (Scheunpflug 2001). Pedagogy can do without images of people or, more cautiously, without the search for images of people. Of course, this also applies to cultural education (Fuchs 1999a).

Since images of human beings, as already mentioned, are historically and culturally variable to a high degree, their development must always be seen in a historical and cultural context. In the age of globalization one cannot and must not stop at a Eurocentric perspective, as it is the basis of almost the entire tradition of educational knowledge and educational practice. If, however, developments outside of Europe are included, the variance and the situation of plurality become radicalized many times over; this is particularly evident in the religious diversity. Diversity by no means ends with the diversity of cultures, multiculturalism; under the conditions of globalization, the transcultural processes of superimposition, mixing, amalgamation, which lead to countless hybrid forms and increasingly drive individualization, are rather decisive (Breinig et al. 2002, Göhlich et al. 2006, Bilstein / Ecarius / Keiner 2011).

Already from this sketch the conclusion can be drawn that under modern conditions it is no longer possible to conceive of pedagogy that relates to a single, closed image of man or that can be deduced from such a concept. The historical experiences of the past century have finally discredited and disavowed such deductions; Closed images of society and people are a priori anti-educational. A positive determination of man is therefore not possible for historical-anthropological reasons alone. What remains is a negative process of elimination - one tries to identify aspects of the human being for which validity can be asserted under all known circumstances, without claim to “completeness” and in the awareness of the fragmentary nature of the possible images.

Negative educational anthropology

The current pedagogical anthropology (Wulf / Kamper 2002, Bilstein et al. 2003, Zirfas 2004) has therefore consciously abandoned the idea of ​​the possibility of a closed, binding image of man and decided to reverse it: it is not the positive design, but only the negative perspective that seems to continue to lead. The fact that human nature cannot be positively determined forms the starting point for all considerations - regardless of whether they are developed against a biological-scientific or a philosophical-cultural-scientific background. As a positive determination it can only be stated that every being is human, who, in whatever way conceived, descends from humans and is accordingly subject to the life cycle up to death in its development. From this it follows that human nature - quite in contrast to some enlightenment ideas - cannot be determined by the ability to reflect or speak: “The child does not first become a person, it is already one”, is a rightly famous sentence by Janusz Korczak. This can be generalized for every form of human existence, including every form of human existence that is different from normality. This most general anthropological determination is necessary because, according to modern understanding, it has a central ethical implication: it excludes the possibility of classifying deviations from the norm as non-human and thus dehumanizing them: human life is per se valuable and therefore worth protecting and developing Well. This is also the fundamental ethical basis of all cultural education.

With this fundamental determination something decisive has already been gained; For the questions of a pedagogical anthropology, however, it only provides a necessary, but by no means sufficient horizon: it must ask about the dimensions of the human with a view to basic pedagogical structures and tasks. From the negative procedure outlined above, a methodological principle of exclusion follows: “One does not ask what human nature is, but what it must not be missing, i.e. what at least belongs to it” (Bilstein et al. 2003: 7). For a pedagogical anthropology, the fundamental question arises as to the conditions of the possibility of pedagogical action, which raises the question of homo educandus. In the 1960s Heinrich Roth gave his answer, based on the occidental pedagogical tradition as well as on modern empirical science, with the double perspective of “figurability” and “determination”, whereby figuration at the same time draws attention to the ability to learn and develop as well as to socializability power and determination on the question of normative orientation, educational goals (Roth 1966, 1971). Even if Roth's great draft is certainly no longer convincing in the details, the core statement is still plausible: An educational anthropology must assume that people are malleable in an empirical sense, i.e. capable of development and in need of development, and that something is educational Action can contribute to education and development in a targeted manner. The starting point is the constitutive dual nature of the human being, who from the very beginning is both a natural and a cultural being. Educationalism and the need for education, each understood empirically, thus represent the basis of all pedagogical anthropology; these assumptions are necessary for logical reasons.

But more provisions can be found if you follow the process of elimination. For a pedagogical anthropology, only those dimensions are of interest in which pedagogically influenceable developments can take place. Accordingly, it is not about the most general a priori conditions (space, time, contingency), but always about historically and culturally more closely defined constellations.

According to the current state of the discussion, at least five dimensions are to be considered: “Corporeality, sociality, historicity, subjectivity and culturality of the human being” (Bilstein et al. 2003: 7).

Pedagogical-anthropological thinking first of all needs a look at the physicality of the human being, which is given with the double constitution (genetic-natural disposition, cultural learning). The corporeality forms the basis of all educational activity; the biologically predisposed life cycle, which leads from conception through birth through the ages to death, is traversed by a cultural being who perceives his body (and thereby constitutes the body). The bodily states (wakefulness, sleep; awareness, intoxication, dream; health, illness etc.) are always associated with visible or invisible physical movement and (conscious or unconscious) perception; Sensual perceptions, feelings, thought and judgment processes are a constitutive part of human action, indeed all human behavior and human existence. The dimension of corporeality thus points to the unity of body, soul and spirit: “In the determination of the human being as a natural and cultural being at the same time, the double foundation of all educational events in nature and culture is contained, at the same time the foundation of the human with and in nature and culture [...] Even all pragmatic and creative thinking about possible improvements in the actual educational conditions remains related to the body, and also to the physical conditions of those who are educated as well as those who educate. "(loc. cit .: 7f .) For this and for cultural education it is particularly important that corporeality is realized in at least five different dimensions. According to Günter Bittner (1990), a distinction can be made between the sensory body (sensual perception), the tool body (active action) and the appearance body (appearance and self-portrayal). Jürgen Funke-Wieneke (1995) added the symbol body (body language expression) and the social body (intersubjectivity) to this list. Physical learning not only forms the basis, but also the core of all learning aimed at ability and practical mastery in everyday and non-everyday contexts (Liebau 2007, Liebau / Zirfas 2008, Bilstein 2011c).

Second, from an educational-anthropological point of view, it is always about sociality. People live in relationships; they cannot do otherwise. Regardless of how human relationships are organized, whatever the historical stage of development societies are at: collectivity, the interrelated and interwoven plural, is constitutive. Communities, families, groups, organizations, society and the state form the framework in which individual life takes place. Every child grows into these frames; Every child needs educational aids, which are determined by the type of socialization and the state of social development. In order to become social, the child has to learn social; In order to grow up, it is not only fundamentally dependent on other people in material terms and is fundamentally dependent on the care of other people. "As a 'zoon politikon' (Aristotle), humans are referred from their basic disposition to active and practical togetherness with their own kind:

"[...] Pedagogy is defined by the anthropologically based fact that although humans are born, live and die as individuals, they are not alone and that all improvements and all further thinking of upbringing and education are based on human coexistence align: individuality and sociality form a reciprocal pair of conditions from the outset "(Bilstein et al. 2003: 8). Artistic and cultural education aims at precisely this dialectic, which is realized in the tension between lonely-individual and communal-social processes of reception and production.

The third dimension is the historicity already mentioned above, the historicity of societies and people. Time and temporality are constitutive for all educational processes in several respects. Ontogeny and phylogeny follow different temporal orders. The finiteness of individual life and the infinity of history form the basis of all culture and all pedagogy. They make the transmission and further development of the cultural heritage both necessary and possible (Sünkel 2002). The historical difference in lifetimes and the experiences of older and younger generations form the material from which the pedagogical fact emerges as anthropological-general. Primary groups secure their existence through pedagogy, but also complex societies secure their existence. It is about the transmission of central competencies (attitudes, knowledge, abilities, skills) and knowledge. This is how the collective memory with its myths, narratives and memories is constituted by pedagogy. What applies to society at large also applies to the primary groups. The difference in perspectives, which results from the difference in time, constitutes the intergenerational context as a connection between tradition and transformation, tradition and innovation (Liebau / Wulf 1996, Liebau 1997). In doing so, “the process character of all educational activities comes into focus. Upbringing always has to do with change, with becoming and becoming.This refers initially to the child, who by definition somehow 'becomes' in the course of the upbringing process, at least afterwards it is different than before [...] It is by no means only the development of the child that comes into view from a historical-genetic perspective Rather, the changes and developments in society and culture with their specific habitus forms, mentalities, thought patterns and conventions become visible ”(Bilstein et al. 2003: 8). Obviously, from an ontogenetic and phylogenetic perspective, this is about the substance of artistic and cultural education, which always includes an examination of the state of historical developments in the various cultural fields.

The fourth dimension of educational anthropology is subjectivity. It too is subject to the twofold question of empirical and normative access. Empirically, it is about everything that is specific to the individual person in his development and his present, what characterizes his forms of thought, perception, judgment and action as unmistakable and unique against the background of biography and curriculum vitae (see Rainer Treptow “Biography , Curriculum vitae and life situation "). Even if drive, desire, longing, desire and also interest generally denote human aspects, the particular constellation is always unique; Actions, rituals, and gestures are always linked to subjectivity in production and reception. Subjectivity cannot be circumvented; all human feeling, thinking, acting is carried out by individual people and goes under with their death, as far as it has not been objectified. All learning, all education, all habit and all invention must be accomplished subjectively. The experience of happiness - however it may be understood: beauty, wisdom, virtue, love, peace, future, health, duration, immortality - is by definition only possible subjectively. From a normative point of view, the question of subjectivity and the subject has been the focus of interest in German pedagogy since the Enlightenment. Since around 1800, under the emphatically charged concept of education, it has drawn attention to the at the same time inevitable and indissoluble paradoxes of an education towards maturity, a cultivation of 'freedom under compulsion' (Kant), a counterfactual assumed autonomy that is not attainable, but whose assumption is necessary for the education of modern, enlightened individuals ”(loc. cit .: 9). In the educational idealistic draft of the German Classic, subjectivity is closely linked to the autonomous subject. The reference point is the adult, responsible person and citizen. “This construction, however, is overloaded with normative claims that appear immediately when the people involved, for whatever reasons, are not yet, no longer or from the outset unable or unwilling to achieve this autonomy . So subjectivity cannot be defined in terms of autonomy; Rather, subjectivity is inherent in every human being from the outset and from the very beginning, whatever the actual state he or she may be in. Only under this perspective of the a priori recognition of the fact of and the right to subjectivity can an educational concept of the development of subjectivity be founded ”(ibid.). The question of subjectivity thus at the same time raises the question of the relationship between the empirical-subjective-unique person and the normative design of the person, and the question of the development and the pedagogical influenceability of this relationship: the core problem of all pedagogy and thus also of artistic and Cultural education.

Fifthly, pedagogical anthropology cannot do without the assumption of human culture. Humans are beings who use symbols, who appear on the world's stages with images and languages, who express and communicate with the help of linguistic, visual, tonal, gestural symbols and who are dependent on these symbols for their understanding of meaning. “The cultural-symbolic perspective directs attention to the question of how symbols achieve the topological entanglement of inside and outside, below and above, and the chronological linkage of past, present and future. This results in particular attention to the function and central position of language and extra-linguistic symbolism in educational processes, not only as a medium of understanding, but also as an essential means and element of all human appropriation of the world: and the experience of its limits in confrontation with the other of everyday life and normality that can only be suspected, felt, felt, but cannot be said or expressed ”(ibid., cf. also Fuchs 2011d). It is evident that this is first and foremost about the various forms of cultural perception, expression, representation and design, i.e. the core areas of artistic and cultural education. At this point, however, religion also comes into play; the experience of the limit and the inexpressible also points to the sacred, the transcendent, the inaccessible beyond the limit. The experience of the beginning and the end, of chance and fate leads to the question of meaning and thus to the religious dimension. Despite all the secularization in some modern societies, it too is one of the ubiquitous phenomena that must accordingly be included from the outset in the context of an educational anthropology. It is therefore not surprising that, after a long period of silence, the religious dimension is now being brought back into play by educational anthropology and thus general education (Wulf et al. 2004). Artistic and cultural education also deals with questions of meaning and can establish a special field of intercultural and interreligious communication here.

That man is a natural-cultural double being, that he is a corporeal, mortal, self-sensing (or with Plessner 1975: eccentrically positioned) being, that he is not alone, but with other people, with nature and things and lives with the other, including the saint, that he has become and is becoming, that he is characterized by subjectivity and that he is an expressive and communicative being - consensus can be reached on such empirical pedagogical-anthropological statements. Corporeality, sociality, historicity, subjectivity and culturality (including religiosity) can thus be recognized as indispensable dimensions of pedagogical-anthropological thought. Certain normative implications for pedagogical thinking and acting follow from this: "Pedagogical thinking and acting will only lead to sustainable results if the pedagogical-anthropological dimensions are sufficiently taken into account" (Bilstein et al. 2003: 10).

Of course, this also and especially applies in the context of cultural education.