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Review article

Formal Side of Education. Hegel and Contemporary Pedagogy

Goran Vranešević orcid id ; Sveučilište u Ljubljani, Filozofski fakultet, Aškerčeva cesta 2, SI–1000 Ljubljana

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The paper highlights the formal aspects of the educational process that are structurally ignored by contemporary pedagogical ideology. Pedagogy as the endeavour to realise certain specific goals through formation has become the constitutive essence of social reality. Yet, in the same sense that we are unknowingly embedded in ideological reality through shared social practises, we are also blind to the formal aspect of our conscious educational activities, regardless of their actuality. While we strive to establish order, logic, and meaning, we simultaneously recognise the reason, which does not lead to adequate knowledge of content, but to what the cognising subject does not know. It arises only through the realisation of the unsuccessful search for knowledge and truth, which is precisely what the formal aspect of pedagogy fails at. Genuine self-reflection, therefore, can be neither the starting point nor the goal since it occurs rather incidentally in the shaping of the individual. Hegel’s contribution to pedagogy is not that he imparted true knowledge or an appropriate way of teaching, but that his commitment to reason gave prominence to this unreflected ideological core of the contemporary social arrangement.


Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel; pedagogy; education; freedom; discipline; reason; knowledge; language

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