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Human Science Pedagogy is ‘a strange case,’ as Jürgen Oelkers has recently noted: In the Anglophone world, where Gert Biesta has compellingly encouraged scholars to ‘reconsider education as a Geisteswissenschaft’ (a human science) its main themes and the contributions of its central figures remain unknown. For Germans, particularly in more ‘general’ or philosophical areas of educational scholarship (i.e. Allgemeine Pädagogik), this same pedagogy is recognized only insofar as it is critiqued and rejected. Taking this strange situation as its frame, this paper introduces Human Science Pedagogy to English-language readers, providing a cursory overview of its history and principal contributors, while suggesting the contemporary relevance of its themes and questions in both English- and German-language scholarship. This paper concludes with an appeal to readers on both sides of the Atlantic to new or renewed consideration of this pedagogy as a significant and influential source for educational thinking deserving further scholarly attention.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an Article published in Journal of Curriculum Studies on June 2020, available online: