Finding Balance in the Maelstrom of Pedagogical Theoretical Discourses Zdenko Medveš
Summary: For me personally, the slogan »finding balance« is at the heart of France Strmčnik’s pedagogical research. I will show this from two perspectives. The first is Strmčnik’s work in fields beyond didactics, which was his main research discipline. These fields are the theory of moral and character education (with an analysis of school punishment and »educational teaching«), the history of pedagogy, comparative pedagogy and educational theory. The tendency towards balance is revealed even more clearly in his overcoming of theoretical and paradigmatic partiality, which arguably defines his method of problem-solving, both in the field of didactics and in other disciplines. Partiality and extremes are not only inappropriate for school practice – they are dangerous. An insight into the broader paradigmatic field of Strmčnik’s pedagogical thinking shows how his key theoretical optics evolved over time. Although they remained within the socio-critical pedagogical paradigm in terms of content, an epistemological turn away from the historically materialist discourse and towards hermeneutics became increasingly noticeable in his work after 2000. This was also the time when he accepted epistemology rather than psychology as more suitable for the development of pedagogy and didactics.