Educational Equality and the Universal Excess of Teaching

  • Joris Vlieghe
  • Piotr Zamojski
Part of the Contemporary Philosophies and Theories in Education book series (COPT, volume 11)


In this chapter we introduce the concept of educational equality as a fundamental aspect of an ontological account of teaching. The argument begins with an analysis of the relation between equality, difference, identity and sameness. We claim that educational equality refers to sameness, but not in relation to any form of identity. The scholastic gesture of de-identification makes it possible to conceive of a plurality or multiplicity of people that can be gathered around a thing that renders them equal. With reference to Jacques Rancière, we argue that equality is not about enacting a status quo through political means, but that it is an axiom that is made true in the course of action. We argue that educational equality is practiced when a teacher puts a thing in the centre of everyone’s attention, and by doing this renders it into something common and invites everyone in the classroom to study it. We refer to the opposition Heidegger makes between object and thing in order to conceptualise the way in which the essential withdrawal of a thing renders us equal. Finally, we come back to Badiou’s rendering of Saint Paul’s concept of grace in order to develop the idea of a threefold gift of teaching.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joris Vlieghe
    • 1
  • Piotr Zamojski
    • 2
  1. 1.KU LeuvenLeuvenBelgium
  2. 2.University of GdańskGdańskPoland

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