Profile Sheet | "Permanently Normative?"-Project
Matthias Heil · PhD student at the Department of Political Science, Heidelberg University
Personal Website: email@example.com
I am currently writing my PhD project on “School and Revolution” in which I analyze how the radical transformation of society and education have been connected in revolutionary thought from Condorcet to contemporary feminist theory. In this context I am often concerned with questions of legitimacy and legitimation of normative education (should/can schools work towards revolution?).
In an empirical research project funded by the Heidelberg School of Education I have tried to understand student teachers motivations for becoming teachers and their understanding of their political influence on students (some results in English are available here). In this project and in my ongoing research in the field of social science and civic education I have analyzed and criticized teachers’ understandings of “neutrality” as they relate to the teaching of controversial subjects. I hope that this perspective can enrich the debate about normativity and connect the project to debates in the fields of civic education and teacher education.
What I am particularly interested in are the parallels between theological and pedagogical thought about questions of neutrality and indoctrination. As both professions aim at the innermost aspects of human beings, their beliefs, morals and habits, and as there are close historical and institutional links between education and religion, I feel that an interdisciplinary exchange could be especially fruitful here.
I personally would be especially interested in projects which focus on teacher education (both in the sense of considering it a subject for analysis and in the sense of improving upon it).
I’m looking forward to meeting all of you in October!