Becoming persons: A “forward-to-basics” view of classroom life

Laurance Joseph SPLITTER

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


My view of schools and classrooms is based on a relational conception of personhood in which pseudo-issues of “identity” make way for more pressing accounts of the epistemological and ethical dimensions of our lives. “Becoming persons” involves integrating thought and language via a triangular model which sees self-awareness, awareness of others and awareness of a common world linked inextricably together. This model transcends sociocultural and political notions of identity which give unwarranted status to the groups, association and collectives – such as nation-states – with which we may identify. But it remains grounded in the familiar relationships which are central to our lives as persons and in our reflections on the nature and quality of these relationships. Embedding these ideas into models of teaching and learning implies transforming classrooms into inquiring and dialogical communities and realizing that self-reflection, interaction with others and learning about the world are three sides of a single coin. This realization points toward a resolution of some of the familiar but persistent problems of formal education, as highlighted by Galton and other researchers. Copyright © 2017 Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLife in schools and classrooms: Past, present and future
EditorsRupert MACLEAN
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer Singapore
ISBN (Print)9789811036521, 9789811036545
Publication statusPublished - 2017


Splitter, L. (2017). Becoming persons: A “forward-to-basics” view of classroom life. In R. Maclean (Ed.), Life in schools and classrooms: Past, present and future (pp. 653-673). Singapore: Springer Singapore.


  • Persons
  • Morality
  • Knowledge
  • Triangulated awareness
  • Education
  • Community
  • Inquiry
  • Dialogue


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