Page: 73-82 Author: Štech, S. Key words: paedocentrism, socialisation, the generic child, neophilia
For ten years now, the slogan “everything for the child” has united the teaching and lay communities. This article tries to show that the soothing consensus on the “interests of the child” has also enabled contradictions and tensions within education and its institutions to be passed over and veiled. It has diverted attention from the tensions between the state, school and family, from the changing relations between them and from hidden trends in transformations of concepts of education and education policy. According to some, orientation to the child and appeal to the criterion of his or her “best interest” has become the most widespread cliché of our time. In the first section the author identifies several social changes that have led to the consolidation of this widespread view. He then maps both the positive and negative sides of the emphasis on the child, showing both what this emphasis has helped us to illuminate and what it has helped to hide and obscure.