Open lecture: "Inclusion as a Cherished Educational Aim: could there be any critical revisiting?"

Welcome to open lecture with Professor Marianna Papastephanou. Introduction by Professor Torill Strand, comments by Professor Inga Bostad.



14.15 Welcome and a short introduction by Torill Strand

14.20 Inclusion as a Cherished Educational Aim: could there be any critical revisiting? Marianna Papastephanou

15.15 Comments by Inga Bostad

15.30 Discussion


Inclusion is nowadays a rather popular and cherished notion in large part of political education and philosophy. Discourses of inclusion appear to be the most humane, politically sensitive and praiseworthy heights that political thought and educational practice can reach. In other words, inclusion has obtained the status of a utopianized endpoint, a set destination of educational ventures. This lecture begins with its major conclusion: we should not maintain an unconditional praise of inclusion; elevating inclusion to an unqualified educational aim entails the worst of political complicities. Since Hegel's vision of the Absolute as the spirit's return to an undifferentiated unity (for what was this, other than a frightening prospect of an inclusion annihilating diversity?), we may no longer turn an innocent, unsuspecting eye to pleas for all-encompassing, all-embracing, seemingly benevolent treatments of alterity. The lecture proceeds with an account of the complicities and risks surrounding the absolutization of inclusion. And it ends with some suggestions concerning the positioning of inclusion within a broader set of concepts required for a desirable redirection of political education. 

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Marianna Papastephanou ( is Professor II at Faculty of Educational Sciences, University of Oslo. She is author of many topical books and papers on political philosophies of education. She is currently teaching Philosophy of Education at the Department of Education, University of Cyprus. She is author of several topical books on political philosophies of education, such as “Cosmopolitanism: Educational, Philosophical and Historical Perspectives” (Springer 2016). Photo: Private



Inga Bostad is Professor of Philosophy at Department of Education, University of Oslo and Professor II at Oslo School of Architecture and Design. She was appointed director for the Norwegian Centre for Human Rights from 2014-2017. She is the author of many topical books and articles, such as “Å se seg spørrende omkring. Introduksjon til en ny pedagogisk filosofi” (Gyldendal Akademisk, 2017). Photo: Private




Torill Strand is Professor at Department of Education, University of Oslo. Her competencies range from meta-theory to social epistemologies, educational philosophy and theory, cosmopolitanism and semiotics. Her current research explores the link between democracy and education. Among her most recent titles are “Alain Badiou on political education” (Springer, 2016) and “Thinking Democracy and Education for the Present: The Case of Norway after July 22, 2011” (Ashgate, 2015). Photo: Department of Education

Published Sep. 3, 2018 4:03 PM - Last modified Sep. 7, 2018 3:50 PM