Theory and Practice in Teacher Education

(O.F. Bollnow, 1989)


  • Norm Friesen Boise State University



“Friedrich Schleiermacher [wrote]: ‘for every domain that can be called an art in the narrow sense of the word …practice always precedes theory’ (2021, p. 5). Art is meant here in the sense taken from the Middle Ages, as one speaks of a healing art, the art of statecraft, etc. This means that there has always been—indeed since the beginning of humankind—a kind of education which is manifest in certain practices and [later] in certain institutions such as schools. This all existed before any disciplinary or scientific theory of education had been formed. Schleiermacher continues: ‘The dignity of practice exists independently from theory. Theory only makes practice more conscious’ (p. 6). The task of such a theory, in other words, is to make us aware of what is already given to us. One can put this succinctly: Being a part of an educational science, pedagogy is the theory of a practice, a practice that builds on a previously existing practice, and that is then related back to theory."






Phenomenological Translations