Bildung, Curriculum and the task of Remembrance

Dr. Norman Friesen
Visiting Professor
Boise State University

Date: February 13, 2015

Franz Kafka opens his intimate “Letter to his Father” by admitting that he simply cannot come to terms with his own upbringing and Bildung –“because… the magnitude of the matter goes far beyond the scope of …memory and understanding.” Nonetheless, the method of currere –like other autobiographical methods– encourages educators to undertake “a subjective reconstruction of academic knowledge and lived experience.” Kafka’s concerns are used, perhaps paradoxically, to frame a similar educational “task of remembrance” by German scholar Klaus Mollenhauer. This presentation explores Mollenhauer’s understandings of Bildung and remembrance with the hope of opening up a space of dialogue between Continental and North American educational thought.

Short Bio:
Norman Friesen is currently (2014-2015) working as a Visiting Professor in the Department of Curriculum and Pedagogy at the University of British Columbia. Dr. Friesen is a member of the Canadian delegation to the International Standards Organization subcommittee for Learning, Education and Training, where he has co-authored a number of technical standards for online collaborative learning systems. Dr. Friesen is the author of Re-Thinking E-Learning Research: Foundations, Methods and Practices (2009), and The Place of the Classroom and the Space of the Screen: Relational Pedagogy and Internet Technology (2011), and has recently edited and translated the pedagogical classic Forgotten Connections: On Culture and Upbringing (Routledge, 2014). Currently associate editor of the Journal of Curriculum Studies, Dr. Friesen also helped to found and edit the online journal Phenomenology & Practice ( He has previously worked as Canada Research Chair in E-Learning Practices at Thompson Rivers University and has also taught and worked at the Universities of Toronto and Innsbruck as well as at Johns Hopkins University.

View Feb Seminar Poster.

This seminar is part of the EDCP 2014-2015 Seminar Series“International Perspectives in Curriculum and Pedagogy” hosted by William E. Doll Jr., Donna Trueit and William Pinar.