Leonard Bernstein as an Educationalist: Sharing the Love for Something Worth the Effort

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


In this chapter we approach Bernstein as an educationalist, by analysing his writings on education, including his scripts for the Young People’s Concerts. This analysis shows the importance of the teacherly gesture of returning to a thing of study. This refers to the central place music played in Bernstein’s life, and the central place a subject matter plays in the life of a teacher more generally. Didactically, this refers to the crucial role of the example, which – in line with Wagenschein – forms an entry point to a particular domain of the world. It also appears that one can only truly appreciate how Bernstein designs his own teaching by taking into account what Bernard Stiegler calls grammatisation. Music is investigated from the angle of a particular combination of discrete elements, that have no meaning in and of themselves, but that eventually form the sense of music. We also indicate the significance of the operation of caesura which cuts the planned teaching in two halves, pointing to a transformation within the subject matter itself. This is in accordance with the basic educational experience that a radical transformation of the world is possible, and that one always can begin anew with the world.


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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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