Education and the Time of our Lives…


  • Harriet Pattison University of Birmingham


Educational alternatives, progressive education, alternative education, difference, educational theory, educational philosophy, home education, education policy


Education has long presented itself as a meaningful advancement. This is a proposition which depends on, amongst other things, a particular projection of the temporal dimension. Time proposed as a forward flowing consistent and constant element allows for education as a progression through which its subjects will be improved upon by the addition of more knowledge and greater skills. This paper explores the notion of this progression through a deconstruction of the linear topology of time with reference to Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence. In doing so the description of ourselves created by the idea of education as a progress is questioned. New mathematical ideas are presenting the possibility of topologies of time which are able to reflect and relate differently to human experience. Here I suggest that altering the topology of time used by education would also allow us to alter our understanding of human change and would therefore simultaneously allow us to think anew about what we mean by education.


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