The other as reference point of education in Europe


Christoph Wulf.


Education in Europe is an intercultural task which has to take into account the similarities and differences between the European nations and cultures, which are characterised by deep diversity. In this situation it is especially necessary to take into consideration the cultural differences in education. The experience of differences and commonalities produces to intercultural awareness and competence.

The other is like a mirror in which the unknown and hidden elements of our culture and of ourselves are discovered. In a mimetic process the other becomes part of the individuals imaginary world. This process does not produce a mere copy of the other; the mimetic process creates something new and different from the original world of the other. It incorporates representations of the other. In this process the historical and cultural context has a great influence on the relation with the other and has to be taken into consideration. Consequently a heterological thinking is needed in education.

Key words: Intercultural education. The Other. Mimetic process.

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