[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[Xmca-l] bildung and obuchenie

In reading the article I just mentioned (in Anthropology and Education
Quarterly), I got to thinking that bildung seems very similar to obuchenie.
I asked a Russian professor who happened to be in a classroom before a
class I was teaching and she described a concept that seemed very similar
to bildung. From what I could gather, obuchenie has the same sense of
"cultivation" that seems to be at the heart of bildung. And of course I
don't mean "cultivation" in the high cultural sense of being a "cultivated"
person (although this might have been part of what the early authors
writing about "bildung" had in mind) rather I mean the idea of a full
development of the human, not merely the dumping of information into the

Anyone have any sense about overlap between these concepts?
Are they as similar as they seem to me?
If different, then how so?

And I wonder how people would feel about the term "character education" as
an English analogue to the German bildung and the Russian obuchenie?

Yes, yes, yes, I know that this aligns with politics that make many people
sick to their stomach, but frankly, I'm interested in imagining a politics
that isn't so provincial as the American Left and Right so I'm always
looking for politically polyvalent concepts. What do you think? Could this
be a concept that can work in politically polar opposite communities?


Gregory A. Thompson, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Department of Anthropology
883 Spencer W. Kimball Tower
Brigham Young University
Provo, UT 84602