Volume 4, 2006
Philosophy of Education
The Teaching/Telling Distinction Revisited
Scheffler, Karatani and Wittgenstein
Teaching has been one of the central themes in educational research. Not only empirical researchers of education but also philosophers of education inquire into the activity. Philosophers used to analyse the concept of teaching. The merely analytic approach, however, is no longer the main one in educational research. Will philosophical consideration of teaching, then, never contribute to our educational activity or any other activities in our life at all? In order to explore the possibilities for philosophical consideration of teaching, I will examine three philosophers' distinction between teaching and telling. The philosophers are Israel Scheffler, Karatani Kojin, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. I will conclude that Wittgenstein deconstructs the distinction between teaching and telling, and that he requires us to change our attitude to the recognition of the others.