Volume 9, 2018
Edith Stein, James Smith, Mette Lebech
Truth and Clarity in Teaching and Education
Between 1923 and 1933, Edith Stein worked as a teacher at a Dominican girls’ school in the German town of Speyer. Her experiences, combined with her philosophical background and her religious faith, inspired her writings on the philosophy of education, including her first public lecture: ‘Wahrheit und Klarheit im Unterricht und in der Erziehung’, delivered in 1926. In this text, Stein discusses ideas that had been raised in a set of guidelines and themes given to teachers for their work in the school year. Stein focuses on the concepts of ‘truth’ and ‘clarity’, exploring the epistemological meanings of these terms, their significance in guiding the work of teaching, and their importance for the entire upbringing (Erziehung) of a child, with particular reference to preparing him or her for life as a Christian. Stein’s lecture is here presented in a German-English parallel text translation, along with a short introduction by the translators discussing the text in its historical and philosophical context.