Untimely Meditations on the Disciplines of Education

Anne Pirrie, Donald Gillies

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of this article is to explore what the concept of interdisciplinarity can bring to our developing understanding of education as a field of enquiry. We shall draw upon some recent writing on the disciplines of education in order to explore the potentially negative consequences of the way in which the disciplines are institutionalised and territorialised. We also assign some prominence to a personal account of an eminent anthropologist's perambulations through a disciplinary landscape in order to put forward an initial, tentative view of interdisciplinary endeavour. Nietzsche's essay Schopenhauer as educator and the distinction between measurable time (chronos) and lived time (kairos) are the vehicles through which the authors explore the nature of intellectual inquiry. They also consider the implications of the prevalence of spatial and cartographic metaphors in scholarship in this area of enquiry, and reflect on the contrasting notions of habitation and occupation. They put forward the view that the key to understanding the role of the disciplines of education is in exploring the reciprocal relations between the lives of academics and the institutions of the disciplines (books, articles, reports, societies, journals, conferences, networks), between personal narrative and grand narrative, and in attempting to reconcile full-bodied being and the ghostly life of pure knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-402
JournalBritish Journal of Educational Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • disciplinarity
  • interdisciplinarity
  • educational studies
  • disciplines of education
  • Schopenhauer as educator


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