‘Know thou self’ and educating for humility

Research output: Contribution to conferencePapers


Teaching humility could be distinguished from preaching humility and humility for (political) leadership, as it customarily appears in the extant psychology and managerial studies. This presentation shares an out-of-the-box theoretical survey on an upcoming collaborative research project on the possibility, nature and role of humility in education the author is involved in. Humility has consistently been regarded as a quality and state that is, in turn, a condition sine qua non to be a morally upright agent. However, as a part of character formation in education, humility is yet to be explored in depth and systematically. In this preliminary and exploratory paper, education in and about humility is looked into from the perspectives of the Ancient Greek adage of Gnoti se authon (Know Thou Self); Koiné Greek quasi precept of Kenosis (self empting or self annihilating); and, the humility for dialogic liberation in Freire. It is argued that the discourse of humility as a virtue or moral excellence in the Western tradition predates the Christian era and the dialectics of humility actually predates Freirean critical pedagogy. Copyright © 2021 CESHK.


ConferenceComparative Education Society of Hong Kong Annual Conference 2021: Geopolitics of Knowledge and Education Policy
Abbreviated titleCESHK 2021
Country/TerritoryHong Kong
Internet address


Park, J. (2021, March). ‘Know thou self’ and educating for humility [Zoom]. Paper presented at the 2021 annual conference of the Comparative Education Society of Hong Kong (CESHK 2021): Geopolitics of Knowledge and Education Policy, Hong Kong, China.


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