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Baring Court 114

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Seminar by David Aldridge (Oxford Brookes University) 'Instructional triangles, belonging, and the knowledge-led curriculum'

A School of Education seminar
Speaker(s)David Aldridge (Oxford Brookes University)
Date9 February 2016
PlaceBaring Court 114

In this paper I would like to consider the relationship between the well-known ‘instructional’ or ‘pedagogical’ triangle of teacher, student and subject matter and the hermeneutic situation.


David Aldridge is Principal Lecturer and Programme Lead in the School of Education at Oxford Brookes University. He researches in philosophy of education, particularly phenomenology and hermeneutics, and has interests in educational ethics, research methodologies, and accounts of teacher formation. He has published in Journal of Philosophy of Education, Educational Philosophy and Theory, and Journal of Beliefs and Values; recent publications include the monograph, A Hermeneutics of Religious Education (Bloomsbury) and Impact 21: How ought war to be remembered in schools (Wiley).


All hermeneutic situations, I will argue, are such triangles. How, then, moving beyond this global understanding, can hermeneutics inform those local situations that we wish to think of as specifically educational (i.e. schooling)? I will argue for a constellation of hermeneutic relationships that constitute the event of classroom learning. An important distinction will be made between the ‘object of study’ and the ‘subject matter’. The subject matter – Gadamer’s die Sache – ‘emerges’ in the event of learning, which implies a transformation of teacher, student and curriculum in a relationship of ‘belonging’. I will conclude by sketching the implications of this relationship for perennial debates about pupil-led and knowledge-led curricula

A chapter of David's most recent book closely related to the seminar is available here.

A recording of this seminar can be found here.

Intended audienceStaff and students from the University of Exeter, visitors from other educational institutions and partnership schools.
Registration informationBooking is not required.
OrganizerNatasha Simcock

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