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Structure of lessons



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The aim of this study is to elucidate the mutual relationships among methodology, pedagogics and the lesson structure and clarify their meaning for the practice of teaching.

In order to show the relationship between methodology and pedagogics it will be necessary to briefly describe the contemporary pedagogic method (section 2.3). However, pedagogics is a science of the reality of educating and, therefore, it is necessary in such a description to give attention to the places where the reality of educating are found and clarity also must be acquired regarding the status these places have for the pedagogical method (pedagogical thinking) (section The significance of pedagogics that is concerned with the reality of educating in scientifically accountable ways can be determined if it has any meaningful results. To what knowledge has fundamental pedagogic thinking led to date?

With respect to the relationship between fundamental pedagogics and the lesson structure (as particular aspects of the practice of teaching), the meaningful relationships between the essences of the reality of educating-as-such (fundamental pedagogic essences) and the fundamental characteristics of the lesson structure (essences of the lesson structure) must be shown.

It is generally accepted that there must be a meaningful relationship between methodology and pedagogics, otherwise there could not be any pedagogics. The method essential to proper pedagogic practice also has the same status as far as teaching practice (including the lesson structure as a structure by which a lesson progresses) is concerned had not formerly come to light explicitly. Does the scientific method have implications and significance for the practice of teaching itself? (section 1.3 and chapters 3 & 4).

When there is mention of a meaningful connection among methodology, pedagogics and the lesson structure, the particular person with which each pedagogic practice must be involved cannot be lost sight of: the child-in-education. How do the results of pedagogic thinking affect the child-in-education, especially where this deals with his involvement in realizing the lesson structures as particular structures of the reality of educating itself? Further, what does methodology, as a precondition for pedagogics, now have to do with a child-with-lesson-structure-essences? Does methodology affect him as a particular child-in-education? (chapters 3 & 4).

All of these matters ought to have particular meaning for the teacher-in-practice if he is to act as an expert educator, i.e., if he is to act in adequate ways in this calling to support the children entrusted to him in expert ways in their acquisition of proper adulthood (section 1.2).



This study rests on the following fundamental axiom: Only a teacher who is an expert educator can claim professional status.

A question that arises immediately is what requirements must a teacher fulfill to qualify as an expert educator. A teacher can be considered an expert educator if he/she at least has the following at his/her disposal:

  1. adequate subject matter knowledge;
  2. reliable knowledge of the reality of educating and everything that this reality can illuminate;
  3. fundamental knowledge of his/her own philosophy of life and everything that it supports; and
  4. faithful to life integration (synthesis) of subject matter knowledge, knowledge of the reality of educating and knowledge of one’s philosophy of life.


An expert educator acquires adequate subject matter knowledge because of his/her studies of subjects in various Faculties and Departments. This knowledge must, at least, fulfill the following requirements:

  1. being up to date, i.e., it must not be obsolete;
  2. suitability, i.e., it must be in accord with the demands that teaching the subject requires. This does not in any way mean that it is expected that a teacher knows only as much or slightly more than his pupils. A thorough grounding in the subject(s) of concern is expected on such a level that there can be mention of the required expertise.


The expert educator possesses reliable knowledge of the reality of educating (pedagogical knowledge); i.e., he is a pedagogue if he/she is thoroughly equipped with knowledge of:

  1. the essence of educating, as such;
  2. the psychic life of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (psychopedagogics);
  3. the social life of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (sociopedagogics);
  4. the didactic life of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (didactic pedagogics);
  5. the vocational orientation life of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (vocational orientation pedagogics);
  6. the physical (bodily) life of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (physical education);
  7. being-a-child-in-education over the centuries and its significance for teaching practice (historical pedagogics);
  8. the life with deficiencies of the child-in-education and its significance for teaching practice (orthopdeagogics).


A.   In the above, the following two matters appear to be of particular importance:

  1. the phrase “significance for teaching practice”. This is a subject-didactic matter to which the various subject-didactics attend and where they are involved in integrating the real essences of subject matter knowledge, knowledge of the reality of educating and knowledge of one’s philosophy of life;
  2. the idea of the child-in-education. Here one has to do with fundamental pedagogics whose task is to undertake an essence analysis of the reality indicated by “in-education”. Thus, the fundamental pedagogician must illuminate the fundamentalia of “in-education” and thus of the reality of education as such. This means that in scientifically accountable and philosophy of life permissible ways there must be a search for:

  1. those fundamentalia (foundations, grounds, preconditions) that support being an educator, with which being an educator is interwoven and for which the educator is thankful for his possibility to be an educator;
  2. those fundamentalia with which the child, as child-in-education, is interwoven and with which he must participate in increasingly independent ways in order to gradually attain proper adulthood. Briefly, the fundamental pedagogician searches for fundamental pedagogic structures with their essences and their meaningful relationships (meaningful mutual connections). Meaningful relationships refer to the following:

    1. meaningful relationships that have fundamental pedagogic structures and essences related to each other; and
    2. meaningful relationships among fundamental pedagogic structures and those pedagogic essences that have a practical effect on these structures.

    In this study attention is given only to particular practical essences (moments), namely, to lesson structure essences.

B.   Besides a reference to the lesson structure there also is mention of “methodology”. A particular task of fundamental pedagogics is to clarify for the practitioners of pedagogical thinking the methodological questions that make possible, direct and guide their scientific practice. The connection between methodology and pedagogics, thus, must be illuminated by fundamental pedagogics. This is done in section 2.3 and in chapters 3 & 4. In order to see the sense of methodological study in training teachers, fundamental pedagogics has the additional task of explaining and interpreting the connection between methodology and the lesson structure. The question is whether methodological matters, as preconditions for pedagogic practice, also have relevance for teaching practice. This question will be considered in section 2.3.2 and in chapters 3 & 4.



The pedagogue (educationist) searches, in thinking, for those meaningful ways of living that constitute the reality of educating. This means that he asks questions such as: Which ways of living have pedagogical meaning? Which ways of living have particular significance for a child becoming a proper adult? The pedagogician calls these particular ways of living that he searches for pedagogical essences. Thus, pedagogical essences are particular ways of living. They are forms of living or forms of existing that appear to the pedagogician as characteristics. Now it can be asked: What are the characteristics of educating, itself, and that also distinguish it from other human activities? How does educating make itself knowable? The reality of educating differentiates itself from other realities on the basis of characteristic ways of living that arise in educative situations. It is these ways of living that are characterized by their particular status as possible preconditions for a child to become a proper adult. Thus, through his pedagogical attunement to the life world, the pedagogue searches thoughtfully for pedagogically meaningful ways of living, thus for essences by which the reality of educating makes itself knowable. It is the pedagogical essences (with their meaningful relations) that constitute the reality of educating. By constituting is meant illuminating (distinguishing) the real essences from everyday experiences of educating, that, in reality, is seeing pedagogical essences2

There is a meaningful way for a pedagogican to acquire knowledge of essences and it is a being called, in thinking, to the reality of educating, itself (Husserl, Heidegger), i.e., a thinking search for what it is that makes the reality of educating what it is and not something else (Heidegger). It is a thinking search for the particular ways of living that make the reality of educating possible and that give it the meaning that it has. Pedagogic practice is a scientifically accountable search for these meanings and this search occurs in terms of the reality of educating, itself (in the various places that it appears3) that contains the concrete fullness of meanings4 in the form of pedagogically meaningful ways of living. Thus, essential meanings of the reality of educating must be brought to light. Pedagogic practice, then, is a particular way of thinking that is essence disclosing. Anyone who wants to know the essentials. i.e., the ontic characteristics, the concrete-meaningful5 of the reality of educating must thinkingly search for pedagogical essences. To do this educating, in its everydayness, and in other places where it appears6, is the point of departure. The pedagogician thinkingly directs himself to the reality of educating (in its various places of appearance) in order to bring to light pedagogical essences as those ways of living that necessarily hold for all authentic educative situations (pedagogic situations). He does this because he has the task of understanding educating, ultimately for the sake of the child-in-education. To understand means to know essences, and to be able to know them they must be disclosed and recognized in order to become unconcealed for the pedagogician7. This means that essence-blindness, in all of its forms, must be overcome8 and the reality of educating must be allowed to appear as it essentially is so that its significances and characteristics continually (perennially) occur9. Which ways of living in their totality, as continuous occurrences, constitute the activities of educating? To be able to answer this requires a knowledge of essences as particular ways of living that give meaning to educating. Additionally, this requires knowledge of the meaningful relationships of these essences with each other, and this means that there must be a thinking search for particular ways of existence that, in their mutuality (co-existentiality)10, constitute (form) pedagogic structures. There is a search for necessary essences concerning the concrete, real existence of persons who are unmistakably and undoubtedly involved in educative work. In the reality of educating itself (and the various places it appears), there is a search for pedagogical essences and the only authentic way to do this is by essence thinking, by reflection11. There is a thinking search for pedagogical essences, thus, for pedagogical meanings. These pedagogical meanings “inhabit” the reality of educating and must be made visible if this reality is to be understood. If such unveiled meanings contribute to a more adequate understanding of educating, they are called categorical meanings12. It is such meanings that can then also be used by the pedagogician as illuminative ways of thinking (categories) in order to arrive at a still more radical understanding of this reality sup>13. Pedagogical thinking, then, is not naïve but radical14. Radical pedagogical thinking requires of the pedagogician the greatest possible regard and respect for what he is thinking about, namely meaningful ways of living as the essential pedagogic. Hence, he must do everything possible so that his method does not disturb the reality of educating that he wants to investigate radically. Again, the steps of thinking he uses must be characterized by scientific status, their scientific necessity and philosophy of life permissibility2. Such disturbances, among others, are promoted 16 by essence blindness and are impeded by radical thinking. However, a disturbance can also occur if radical thinking (reasoning) becomes absolute, with a resulting disregard for affective moments. Such a disregard leads to being caught up in a merely rationally justified view of the reality of educating. However, in addition to rational structuring, the existence of signifying structuring must be recognized. That is, there are subjective activities by which the creative activities of the thinker begin to function because he creates a new perspective (point of view). Signifying structuring involves a choice that is determined by expectations, aspirations, approval and disapproval as well as beliefs; i.e., the extra-rational. These meanings are rooted in the affective and are the foundation for creative renewal. In addition, there is a synchronization of the rational and the affective. Thus, they form a new alliance and dimensional interaction, an intimate synthesis with a particular emphasis of will and choice17. The rationally justified demand of determining the scientific necessity of the steps of thinking forms a living synthesis with the extra-rational demand of determining their philosophy of life permissibility. The affective insistence on a philosophy of life meaning of the steps of thinking serves as a creative renewal of applying them. The dynamic, intimate alliance between scientific necessity and philosophy of life permissibility lead to a choice of particular steps of thinking and a willingness to apply them in accountable and enthusiastic ways.

The pedagogician involves himself with disclosing essential meanings18 by bringing to light meaningful ways of living that appear as pedagogic ways of being (structures with their essences). That is, he practices a DISCLOSING PHENOMENOLOGY. He wants to know what the essential nature of educating is, what the meaningful ways of living are that continually occur in educative practice. This involves a disclosure of meanings that are concealed within the obvious reality of educating, thus the meaningful that is visible as essences within the concrete experience of the reality of educating; i.e., it involves ontological findings about educating. The pedagogician is directed to an ontological understanding of educating, to a phenomenologically disclosed ontology19.

Now it is characteristic of a sensitive phenomenology that it tries to bring different areas of reality (that have been rationally separated) into communication with each other. Only a phenomenology that also is open to the meta-phenomenological is an authentic phenomenology that has become free because it can continually see greater meaningful relationships20. The pedagogician sees that two particular realities (i.e., the phenomenological scientific necessity and the meta-phenomenological philosophy of life permissibility of the steps of thinking) form a meaningful relationship that, because they are intimate and symbiotic, leads to a sharpened pedagogical practice. The question of philosophy of life permissibility of the steps of thinking intensifies the question of their scientific necessity. The determination of scientific necessity of the steps of thinking makes the subsequent philosophy of life verification of them possible and meaningful. The synthesis between confirming the scientific necessity and agreeing with philosophy of life permissibility results in an accountable pedagogical practice on the highest level possible. The unity of the mutual implications of the scientific with the philosophy of life21 results in a refinement of the activities of thinking and an openness to that which, because of these activities of thinking, are disclosed; i.e., pedagogically meaningful ways of living as the essential necessities for meaningful educative work.

  1. a) Landman, W. A,, S. G. Roos, C. R. Liebenberg: Opvoedkunde en opvoedingsleer vir beginners, University Publishers and Booksellers, Stellenbosch, 3rd expanded edition, 1975.
    b) Landman, W. A., M. E. J. van Zyl, S. G. Roos: Fundamenteel-pedagogiese essensies: hulle verskyning, verwerkliking en inhoudgewing, Butterworths, Durban, 1975, Ch. 3.
  2. See a) Kates, C. A.: “Perception and temporality in Husserl’s phenomenology”, in Philosophy Today, vol. 14, 1970, 91-92.
    b) Stulberg, R. B.: “Heidegger and the origin of the work of art. An explication”, in Journal of Aesthetics and Criticism, vol. 32, 1973, 257-265.
  3. See section [].
  4. a) Gutting, G.: “Phenomenology and scientific realism”, in The New Scholasticism, vol. 48, no. 2, 1974, 254.
    b) Kates, C. A., op cit., 91.
  5. Brand, G.: “The structure of the Life World according to Husserl”, in Man and World, vol. 6, 1973, 150-153.
  6. See section [].
  7. Heidegger, M.: Der Satz vom Grund, Neske, Pfullingen, 4th edition, 1971, 121-122.
  8. Landman, W. A., M. E. J. van Zyl, S. G. Roos, op cit., Ch. 2.
  9. a) Heidegger, M.: Was heisst Denken?, Niemeyer, Tubingen, 2nd edition, 1961, 143.
    b) Heidgegger, M.: Vortrage und Aufsatze 1, Neske, Pfullingen, 1967. 30-31.
    c) Pietersma, H.: “Intuition and horizon in the philosophy of Husserl”, in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 34, 1973, 97.
  10. Landman, W. A., M. E. J. van Zyl, S. G. Roos, op cit., Ch. 1
  11. Brand, G.: “The material a priori and the foundation for its analysis in Husserl”, in Analecta Husserliana, vol. II, D. Reidel, Dordrecht, 1972, 138.
  12. Estes, C. R.: “Concepts as criteria derived from an existential-phenomenological perspective”, in Educational Theory, vol. 20, 1970, 152.
  13. Landman, W. A., S. G. Roos, R. P. van Rooyen: Die praktykwording van die fundamentele pedagogiek, Perskor, Johannesburg, 1974, Ch. 1.
  14. a) Raval, R. K.: “An essay on phenomenology” in Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, vol. 33, 1972, 216-226.
    b) Dennis, F.: “Phenomenology: philosophy, psychology and education”, in Educational Theory, vol. 24, 19174, 1452-154.
  15. a) Landman, W. A., S. G. Roos: Fundamentele pedagogiek en die opvoedingswerklikheid, Butterworths, Durban, 1973, Ch. 2.
    b) Landman, W. A., S. G. Roos, R. P. van Rooyen, op cit., Ch. 1.
  16. Landman, W. A., M. E. J. van Zyl, S. G. Roos, op cit., Ch. 2
  17. See Tymienicke, A-T.: “Imaginato Creatix: The creative versus the constitutive function of man and the possible worlds”, in Analecta Husserliana, vol. III, 1974, 3-5, 9-14, 36-40.
  18. Imelman, J. D.: Plaats en inhoud van een personale pedagogiek, Dissertation, V. R. B. Offsetdrukkerij, Groningen, 1974, 43.
  19. op cit., 34, 43.
  20. a) Hengstenberg, H-E.: Freiheit und Seinsordnung, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1961, 57 et seq., 129, 135-138, 143, 155, 185-186, 214-216, 220-223.
    b) Hengstenberg, H-E.: Philosophische Anthropologie, Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1966, 229-230, 234, 236, 238, 259, 321, 378.
    c) Weier, W.: “Wege einer metaphysichen phaenomenologie”, in Freiburger Zeitschrift fur Philosophie und Theologie, vol. 16, 1969, 388-427.
    d) Dupre, W.: “Phenomenology and systematic philosophy” in Philosophy Today, vol.13, 1969, 284-295.
    e) Silvers, S.: “The critical theory of science”, in Zeitschrift fur allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie, vol. IV, 1973, 129-132.
  21. Also see: Klapwijk, J.: “Calvin and Neo-Calvinism on non-Christian philosophy”, in Philosophic reformata, vol. 38, 1973, 44-45.

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