Pedagogical hermeneutics (2013/2014)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniele Loro
Daniele Loro
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem IIA, Sem IIB

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

General formative aim
The general formative aim of the pedagogic hermeneutics teaching, within the Pedagogic Science Degree, consists in going deep into the meaning of education. Education is considered an important experience of “interpretation”, preceded and followed by a similar interpretative experience, which is common in every pedagogical theorization. Hence, the educator, that works on education and thinks on pedagogical terms, needs to deepen the hermeneutic theme and its historical-philosophical branches.
Education may be thought about as an interpretative experience: that explains the existence of this discipline, which finds its collocation among education, pedagogy and philosophy. This is the disciplinary site where also “philosophy of education” has begun to exist: pedagogical hermeneutics is a particular branch and a specific knowledge of it.
The general formative aim of the course is of an essentially cognitive and reflexive nature, because the educator and the pedagogist must pay attention to the “interpretative” aspect - either at the moment of the educational planning or at the end of the educational action – and its cognitive relevance, with particular regard to the role of the interpreting subject.

Educational objectives
Based on this general formative aim, here are some specific formative objectives. They are expressed as results of what has been learnt.
- First formative object: knowledge and comprehension of education as “experience of interpretation” that is of the importance of hermeneutics, of its history and its more significant theories. That requires the knowledge of philosophic hermeneutics and its redefinition in pedagogical terms. At the end of the course the student will have a sufficient knowledge of the hermeneutic contents and will be able to contextualize them in the hermeneutic history with particular regard to the most important authors.
- Second formative object: the operating capacity of reading the educational relation in general and any educational problem in particular, from the hermeneutic point of view. At the end of the course the student will be able to unify every new piece of knowledge within his/her own personal culture and to make professional application of it.
- Third formative object: the capacity to identify the more suitable hermeneutic model to interpret the educational experience, without changing its fundamental characteristics. In that way, at the end of the course the student will be able both to enrich his/her own models of research and action, and to autonomously evaluate the cognitive possibilities and also the hermeneutic limits, seen in a pedagogic point of view.
- Forth formative object: the improvement of the linguistic and communicative capacities, enriched by the hermeneutic conceptual problematic heritage. At the end of the course the student will be able to integrate his/her own educational language with what comes from the hermeneutic part.


The course will mainly deal with the following topics.
Principal contents of the general part
- Education as a hermeneutic problem
- Elements of hermeneutic history: from classic age to Dilthey;
- Nineteenth Century hermeneutics: Heidegger, Gadamer e Ricoeur;
- Two different trends of Italian hermeneutics in nineteen Century: Pareyson and Vattimo;
- From the historic- philosophic thinking to the hermeneutic reflection on the educational practice;
- The pedagogic hermeneutics and other pedagogical paradigms of thought;

Principal contents of the ”monographic” part (of the developing part of the course)
- an educational and philosophic problem of fundamental hermeneutic value: truth;
- philosophic theories on truth in educational perspective;
- The experience of truth, as “reading key” of the philosophic theories on truth;
- Some basic elements for a plan of education to “truth”.

Texts for the exam
General part of the course: The two following texts are mandatory for everybody:
- D. Loro, Ermeneutica pedagogica e il problema della verità. Lecture notes, 2013-2014. ( The “dispensa” will be available at the end of the course by the libreria Ateneo, Lungadige Porta Vittoria, 37.
- M. Zambrano, Per l’amore e per la libertà. Scritti sulla filosofia e sull’educazione, Milano-Genova, ed. Marietti, 2008.

For the “monographic” part of the exam, one of the following texts is mandatory for everybody:
- M. Baldini, Virtù dell’errore. Fra epistemologia e pedagogia, Brescia, ed. La Scuola, 2012.
- H. Gardner, Verità, bellezza, bontà. Educare alle virtù nel ventunesimo secolo, Milano, ed. Feltrinelli, 2011.
Teaching methods
Lessons will be frontal in the main, with the possibility to intervene with questions and short debates related to the themes of the day.

Assessment methods and criteria

Students will be examined in the oral form, following the line of their entry to the exam. They will be assessed according to their level of learning what it is expected in the specific formative objectives.
They are asked to answer questions, of different types: descriptive (to show the knowledge of the contents), argumentative (to show the capacity of associating concepts and of reflection ),applicative (to show the ability of concrete and active thinking on the theoretical contents).
Students enrolled in previous years must prepare their exam on the programme of the current academic year, except for those who previously communicate to their teacher (who is expected to give the last decision) their serious reasons for not doing so.
This is scientifically and didactically correct for some reasons:
- To assure the link between the programme of the exam and the academic year in which the student takes the exam,
- It is required by the “diploma supplement”
- Each year the programme of the course is deepened and updated in its contents with regard to those of the previous years.