An Analysis of Aims and the Educational “Event”


  • Kent den Heyer University of Alberta


In this article, the author explores key distinctions relevant to aims talk in education. He argues that present formulations of aims fail to adequately capture or speak to several overlapping domains involved in schooling: qualification, socialization, and the educational in the form of subjectification (Biesta, 2010). Drawing off Egan and Biesta to differentiate the educational domain, the author details an ontological orientation to the educational “event” through the work of Badiou while grounding this exploration in ancient Western distinctions between sophistic and Socratic approaches to education as detailed by Bartlett. The article ends with a call for non-Indigenous educators to expand Canadian conceptions of educational aims and citizenship through Indigenous orientations to these vital education terms.

Author Biography

Kent den Heyer, University of Alberta

Associate professor

Department of Secondary Education




How to Cite

den Heyer, K. (2015). An Analysis of Aims and the Educational “Event”. Canadian Journal of Education/Revue Canadienne De l’éducation, 38(1), 1–27. Retrieved from