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13 Pages

Educational Plasticity: Catherine Malabou and ‘the feeling of a new responsibility’

ByEmile Bojesen

This paper attempts to reintegrate the concept of plasticity into educational philosophy. Although John Dewey used the concept in Democracy and Education (1916) it has not generated much of a critical or practical legacy in educational thought. French philosopher, Catherine Malabou, is the first to think plasticity rigorously and seriously in a contemporary philosophical context and this paper outlines her thinking on it as well as considering its applicability to education. My argument is that her definition not only successfully reintroduces the concept in a way which is generative for contemporary educational philosophy and practice but that it also significantly extends the remit of educational plasticity as previously conceived by Dewey. This paper will examine the concept of educational plasticity as providing an opportunity as well as ‘the feeling of a new responsibility’ towards the plastic subject in philosophical approaches to education.