Joris Vlieghe and Piotr Zamojski's book Towards an Ontology of Teaching: Thing-centred Pedagogy, Affirmation and Love for the World (Springer, 2019) opens an original and timely perspective on why it is we teach and want to pass on our world to the new generation. Teaching is presented in this book as a way of being, rather than as a matter of expertise, which is driven by love for a subject matter. With the help of philosophical thinkers such as Arendt, Badiou and Agamben, the authors articulate a fully positive account of education that goes beyond the critical approach, which has become prevailing in much contemporary educational theory, and which testifies to a hate of the world and to a confusion of what politics and education are about. Therefore, the authors develop the idea of a thing-centered pedagogy, as opposed to both teacher-centered and student-centered approaches. The authors furthermore illustrate their purely educational account of teaching by looking at the writing and the television performance of Leonard Bernstein who embodies what teaching out of love and care for a subject is all about. This book is of interest to all those concerned with fundamental and philosophical questions about education and to those interested in (music) education.
Kai Wortman is a PhD candidate at the Institute of Education, University of Tübingen, funded by the State Postgraduate Scholarship Programme.