Toward a pedagogy of humility as experience

Jae Hyung PARK, Taejin Anselmo BAE

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Humility is widely regarded as a moral excellence and telos, hence, openly inculcated-instructed. Character education in and for humility, however, sits uncomfortably against today’s pedagogical maxims such as self-esteem and self-assertiveness. This article looks into this and other tensions from the perspective of humility as experience (phenomenon) instead of humility as goal. Surveying humility qua experience can help us to understand how the mind directs toward objects of cognition with their content, meaning and axiology. Husserl’s phenomenology and its theory of intuition suggests that humility is a personal belief (doxa) that moral agents construct out of their lived-experiences. Through iterations of similar lived-experiences, humility can become a habitus and, arguably, episteme. This process is detailed by intersecting experience of humility with intentionality, phenomenological reduction, and intersubjectivity. It is argued that, in contemporary education, ‘experience’ is widely accepted as learning content and teaching method. Humility as experience has significant implications for the main schools in curriculum studies, namely traditionalists, conceptualists and phenomenologists. This article claims that inculcating humility poses ethical challenges, and the role of education should instead be to explain and present to learners the phenomenological reality of humility. Copyright © 2022 Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)195-206
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Issue number2
Early online date05 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2023


Park, J., & Bae, A. (2023). Toward a pedagogy of humility as experience. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 55(2), 195-206. doi: 10.1080/00131857.2022.2104156


  • Humility as phenomenon
  • Experience
  • Phenomenology
  • Mental state
  • Intentionality
  • Intersubjectivity
  • Pedagogy of humility


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