University of Cambridge > > Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars > On the possibility of outsider understanding: a conversation

On the possibility of outsider understanding: a conversation

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In August 2008 David Bridges gave the first Terence McLaughlin Memorial Lecture at the conference of the International Network of Philosophers of Education in Kyoto on the theme of the possibility of outsider understanding of, for example, religious communities (Terry argued that you could only ultimately understand religious practice from the inside), disability and other societies. In this he took a analytic and epistemological approach that led him to challenge the dichotomy between insider and outsider understanding, to emphasise the multi faceted nature of ‘understanding’ and to conclude that not only were there no insuperable barriers to such understanding but that such outsider understanding was one of the important contributions which research brought to social experience.

Among those who responded critically to the presentation at Kyoto was Halvor Hoveid, who is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Faculty of Education in Cambridge. Halvor has developed a Ricoeurian reading of David’s paper which provides different insights into the issues of outsider understanding and a very different approach to the problem. It also presents the gap between Halvor’s approach to philosophy of education and David’s Anglo Saxon analytic approach as itself a problem of outsider and insider understanding.

Both David’s paper and Halvor’s response are available in electronic form to anyone interested. They would like to make a short presentation of the papers and then initiate discussion around the issues they raise – and would welcome the participation of anyone who is interested in taking part.

Halvor Hoveid is Associate Professor of Pedagogy at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim and was until recently Co-Convenor of the Teacher Education Network of the European Educational Research Association. Most of his publications are in Norwegian, but they also include the following (co-authored with Marit Hoveid, who is also visiting the Faculty)

2009 Educational Practice and Development of Human Capabilities. Mediations of the student teacher relation at the interpersonal and institutional level. In Hinchliffe, Terzi and Pendlebury (eds.) : Capabilities and Education, Special Issue of Studies in Philosophy and Education, Springer. (Now online) 2008 Teachers’ Identity, Self and the Process of Learning. Studies in Philosophy of Education, 27(2-3), 125-136. Springer. 2004 On the Possibilities of Educating Active and Reflective Teachers. European Educational Research Journal, volume 3 (number 1.) 49-76. se nettadr:

David Bridges has recently re-joined the Faculty of Education as Professorial Fellow. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of East Anglia, where he was Pro Vice Chancellor, and an Emeritus Fellow of St Edmund’s College, where until recently he directed the Von Hugel Institute. He is Honorary Vice President of the Philosophy of Education Society and a Council member of both BERA and EERA . His recent writing has focussed in particular on philosophical issues relating to educational research Bridges D 2003 ‘Fiction written under oath?’ Essays on Philosophy and Educational Research) including most recently, out of work on TLRP supported project Bridges,D., Smeyers, P & Smith R.D eds. (2009) Evidence based policy: What evidence? What basis? Whose policy and on the back of his work on the RAE panel and now on the Framework 7 European Educational Research Quality Indicators project on research quality assessment (Bridges D 2009 ‘Research quality assessment in education: Impossible science, possible art? BERJ 35 ,4 pp 497-517).

This talk is part of the Education, Equality and Development (EED) Group Seminars series.

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