Martinus Jan Langeveld (1905-1989) was one of the most prominent educational theorists in the Netherlands in the second half of the 20th Century. In educational theory, Langeveld is commonly taken to voice the standard position of the traditional, hierarchical account of the relationship between an educator and a child. By educator is meant: any grown-up (usually, but not necessarily, a parent) responsible for raising children to become autonomous human beings. For an overview of the life and work of Langeveld and a broader contextualization of his work (in relation to other scholars, disciplines, positions taken in educational research), see Levering (2012). In this entry, the focus is on Langeveld’s main work, Concise Theoretical Pedagogy (but see below, note on translation) (1945). References are to paragraphs in the 10th revised edition (1965).
Langeveld belonged to the Utrechtse School, famous for its adoption of a phenomenological approach. He wanted to study upbringing as it appears to us in daily and ordinary experience, starting from “a vague notion of upbringing based on common-or-garden experience” (§5). It is a study of upbringing as such, “taking account of the phenomenon of upbringing in its form of appearance that is accessible to anyone” (ibid.).