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Morton I. Teicher


This inquiry is intended to present a compilation of the work nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche offered in the field of philosophy of education. It focuses on three elements which attempt to offer some solutions to the problems facing our contemporary educational institutions, particularly public schools: (1) the similarities between our contemporary educational climate and the educational climate in Nietzsche's Germany during the second half of the nineteenth century; (2) the viability of an education which stresses personal achievement through academic rigor (i.e., teaching the ubermensch, the over-man, or the higher state of the human condition); and, (3) the necessity of establishing a philosophy of education which places the learner as the focus of the entire process in order to promote creativity and critical thinking.

An application of the elements of Nietzschean pedagogy to contemporary education will produce a knowledge delivery system which answers the needs of the student first, the society second.

The thrust of this dissertation is the justification of a revaluation of those meta-educational principles which have resulted in the mediocre conditions we find in our schools and institutions today.

Nietzsche's concern with education during his time resulted in his model of education which placed the receiver of education, the student, at the focal point. This model is specifically not student-centered, but rather, is a blueprint for the development of the ubermensch, or the higher state of being of the student within the human condition, who will effect a revaluation of values. Nietzsche posited a philosophy of education designed to promote individual creativity and critical thinking based upon four elements: love between the pedagogist and the learner, promotion of competition in the Greek tradition of agon, adherence to a doctrine of amor fati, and education of the whole person.

Essentially, this dissertation establishes the circumstances of our present-day educational institutions, makes a thorough examination of Nietzsche's concept of education, and then applies these concepts in presenting a framework for the revaluation of our educational system through a Nietzschean pedagogy in the form of seven Corollaries for a Revaluation of Contemporary Education.