Operationalizing Biesta: Bringing Unique Beings Into Existence in Standardized Spaces
This essay details the authors’ attempts to implement a “Biestian” curriculum in a large, rural high school. Drawing on the work of Gert Biesta’s Beyond Learning: Democratic Education for a Human Future, the authors discuss a methodology that begins to satisfy Biesta’s theoretical underpinnings of what he calls a “humane education.” Acknowledging and rejecting Biesta’s warnings against turning his ideas into “technique,” the authors call for operationalizing democratic educational theorists despite their protestations, as refusing to do so allows neoliberal pedagogical reforms to maintain their hegemonic dominance. We focus on Biesta in particular as he is an established, highly regarded philosopher of educational practice and policy, and we believe theoretical work such as his is exactly the type of theory that must be turned into practice, despite his protestations.
Authors who publish with Critical Education agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).