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“The Education of Character” is one of several important articles in which Buber focused on educational subjects. The article begun as a lecture that Buber gave to teachers in a 1939 conference held in Tel-Aviv. The article is multilayered, regarding aesthetic and mystical components, which Buber tries to silence. The aesthetic and the mystical derive from Buber’s early book, Daniel, published in 1913. For a long time, Buber expressed doubts about the book and even banned its publication in other editions for years. But voices from Daniel, ideas like “ orientation” and “realization” recur in the article.
“The Education of Character” examines the ways in which educators and students meet and approach each other within the educational realm. This paper claims that Buber aims toward a special kind of meeting, an aesthetic one that could lead the educator to see the student as a work of art and to complicate both educator and student in forbidden love and admiration. At the same time, Buber tries to erase any sign of an aesthetic sort of meeting.
The paper raises doubts regarding the possibility of actual dialogue and actual meeting within the educational process and whether Buber is constructing a directional dialogue or a Socratic sort of dialogue, where the teacher directs the students toward his beliefs and worldviews.