Pedagogical hermeneutics (2020/2021)

Course code
Name of lecturer
Daniele Loro
Daniele Loro
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
Sem. 2A dal Feb 15, 2021 al Apr 1, 2021.

Lesson timetable

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Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding 1. To know and understand that education can also be thought of as the result of an "experience of interpretation" of the behavior of the educator by the educator. 2. To know in its various aspects what it means to "interpret"; to know the history of hermeneutics (not just philosophical) and to understand the necessity of its linguistic-conceptual reformulation in pedagogical terms. 3. To understand that the hermeneutical approach to education requires us to think of hermeneutics as an existential dimension of the human person (Gadamer) which is capable of symbolic thinking (Ricoeur). This ability is an integral part of the professional competence of the pedagogic work. Applying knowledge and understanding 1. To possess a level of knowledge of hermeneutics that will adequately contextualize it in the context of its history, with particular reference to the authors and to the modern and contemporary currents that have characterized its evolution, and to know how to apply it in understanding educational contexts in which educators and especially pedagogic work. 2. To know how to "translate" the acquired learning in the ability to understand, interpret, explain and communicate both a specific educational experience, both "texts" and works having an educational value (e.g. books, paintings, images, films, other artistic expressions and literary). 3. Knowing how to interrogate the classics of the history of pedagogy, interpreting its contents in the light of today's educational and / or pedagogical problems, thus integrating knowledge, apparently far from its historical and cultural horizon, into its educational and professional background.


The teaching program is divided into four parts, closely related to each other.
FIRST PART: knowledge and understanding of the essential contents of pedagogical hermeneutics
─ Education also has a hermeneutic component, that is, an interpretative one.
─ The etymological, conceptual, structural and existential meaning of hermeneutics.
─ Hermeneutics as a method and as a way of being and relating to reality.
─ From the pedagogical need to reflect on the hermeneutic problem in education to the awareness of a "applied" hermeneutics to educational practice and pedagogical knowledge.

SECOND PART: birth, historical development and cognitive deepening of hermeneutics
─ The hermeneutic problem in Platonic, Aristotelian and Hellenistic thought.
─ The intrinsically hermeneutic character of the Jewish and Christian religious experience.
─ From Protestant theological hermeneutics to nineteenth-century philosophical hermeneutics (Schleiermacher, Dilthey).
─ From the interpretation of the written text to the interpretation of the speeches and of the "experiences" and their expressions.
─ Hermeneutics in the twentieth century and some of its main articulations: a) in Germany (Heidegger, Gadamer); in France (Ricoeur); in Italy (Pareyson).

THIRD PART: reflection on the areas of intervention of pedagogical hermeneutics
─ Reading and pedagogical interpretation of the classics of the history of education and pedagogy.
─ Vision and pedagogical interpretation of works with a high communicative expression (painting, music, cinema, dance, play, etc.).
─ The awareness of the transversal presence of hermeneutics in the human sciences: hermeneutics as a cognitive "paradigm" and its implications.

FOURTH PART: "doing hermeneutics" applied to education. through practical exercises.
─ Exercise of hermeneutic reflection in relation to concrete educational situations.
─ Exercise of pedagogical interpretation applied to selected texts.

The lessons will take place keeping in mind some didactic modalities that will alternate according to the needs related to the program:
─ the "front" lesson, for the presentation of the conceptually most important or most difficult contents, also with the help of slides.
─ the “participatory and dialoguing” lesson, useful for encouraging interventions, asking questions and giving space to short debates on the topics dealt with from time to time;
─ The lesson in "e-learning" mode; to be specified and programmed, if necessary.

Reference books
Author Title Publisher Year ISBN Note
M. Brunello, G. Zagrebelsky Interpretare. Dialogo tra un musicista e un giurista. Il Mulino 2016
D. LORO, Interpretare l'educazione, Introduzione all'ermeneutica pedagogica (Edizione 1) Edizioni Libreria Cortina, Verona 2016 9788877491978
D. Loro La dimensione interpretativa dell'attività educativa e pedagogica Libreria Cortina, Verona 2020 Dispensa universitaria.

Assessment methods and criteria

To achieve the learning objectives listed above it is necessary to study three texts, mandatory for all, attending and infrequent:
─ D. Loro, Being hermeneuts. The interpretative function of educators and pedagogists, Lecture a. a. 2020/2021-
(The text will be available at the end of the lessons at the Cortina bookshop, via dell 'artigliere, n. 3, Verona).
─ D. Loro, Interpreting education. Introduction to pedagogical hermeneutics, Verona ed. Cortina bookshop, 2016.
─ M. Brunello, G. Zagrebelsky, Interpreting. Dialogue between a musician and a jurist, Bologna, ed. il Mulino, 2016.

The exam will take place in Oral exam and will cover the parts of the exam program. The questions will be indicatively of this type:
- "descriptive" or summary questions, to verify learning and understanding of contents;
- "argumentative" or demonstrative questions to verify the ability to consistently present the problems and concepts
present in the texts being studied;
- "reflective" questions, enhancing the ability to think in meta-cognitive terms what has been studied:
- "applicative" questions, to verify the ability to use hermeneutic categories in the word educational and / or
pedagogical reflection.