Document Type

Honors Thesis

Publication Date

Spring 5-2018


How does the school instruct us? What is it like for a student to learn in a school? The following thesis construes the school as a site for disciplinary technology purportedly oriented toward educating students. My conceptual analysis rests on the intersection between the sociohistorical practice of schooling and the lived experience of students. I contrast schooling (the organization of a primary planned environment for instruction) and education (an existential facet of growth and social connectedness) at the center of the essay. My argument has three parts. First, I examine Michel Foucault’s concept of disciplinary technology as it pertains to the school. Second, I develop the existential presuppositions of Foucault’s argument through evidence from the field of phenomenology. Third, I sketch a normative conception of education, supported by the philosophy of John Dewey and elaborate on the dangers of discipline through a reading of Martin Heidegger’s “The Question Concerning Technology.” While this thesis thoroughly problematizes a central aspect of modern pedagogy, it does not provide simple solutions and merely hopes to examine the complicated intersection between “disciplinary” pedagogy and lived experience in order to deepen our understanding of each of these fields.