Gert Biesta is Professor of Education and Director of Research at the Department of Education of Brunel University London, UK. For one day per week he holds the NIVOZ Chair for Education at the University of Humanistic Studies the Netherlands. In addition he is Professor II (Visiting Professor) at NLA University College, Bergen, Norway. Since 2016 he is an associate member of the Education Council of the Netherlands, the advisory body for the Dutch government and parliament. He is associate editor of the journal Educational Theory and from 2018 onwards co-editor of the British Educational Research Journal. He studied education and philosophy in the Netherlands, obtained his PhD in 1992 on the philosophy of John Dewey, and was a Spencer Postdoctoral Fellow with the National Academy of Education, USA (1995-1997).
His work focuses on the theory of education and the theory of social and educational research, with a particular interest in questions of democracy and democratisation.
His recent books include: Biesta, G.J.J. (2011). Learning democracy in school and society: Education, lifelong learning and the politics of citizenship (2011), Civic learning, democratic citizenship and the public sphere (2013), The beautiful risk of education (2014) and The rediscovery of teaching(2017).
What is the educational question? Arousing the desire for democracy
It is often argued that citizenship education needs to equip children and young people with the knowledge, skills and dispositions that are needed to be good citizens. While this may be a necessary condition for good citizenship, the question Biesta wishes to ask is whether it is also a sufficient condition – or in more plain language: whether this is enough.