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Michael Paulsen is Associate Professor in Pedagogy.

His research focuses on the ontology and axiology of education. This includes questions like: What is education? How can education be understood? Why educate? What should education be about today? How should it proceed? How is it possible?  

Currently he is working on developing a new understanding of life-friendly education situated in the Anthropocene. This include working with the following issues and areas:

  • The Anthropocene, trans- and posthumanism, new materialism, sustainability, world-understanding, ecology, the life-critical zone, the double entanglement, plant philosophy
  • Technologies, media, big data, cyborgs, hybridization, digitalization, media ecologies, potentialities, new assemblages     
  • Intercultural pedagogy, cultural regimes, democracy, public sphere, globalization, plurality, dialogue, collective learning, the culture-nature relation, being-togetherness  
  • Teaching, Bildung, becoming, innovation, wild pedagogies, emancipation, philosophical anthropology, reflection, values, nomadic spaces    

He has led several collaborative research projects, including the DUFA project – on Digitalisation and Bildung in Danish upper secondary schools, together with Jesper Tække (2017-2019), the Innovation & Sustainability projectabout innovation in the Danish upper secondary schools, together with Morten Ziethen (2014-2016), the Socio Media Education project – about using social media in school, together with Jesper Tække (2011-2014) and the Diversity project - about plurality and community in school, together with Steen Beck (2009-2011).

Currently he is co-organizer of the Wild Pedagogies Gathering (Enaforsholm 2023) and the Life-Friendly Ecoliteracy Symposium (2024, Insbruck). Also he is deeply envolved in two research projects: Playing With Disaster (2023-), which investigates the ecoliteracy potentials of a cli-fi roleplaying game and Digging for Climate (2023-) which investigates the ecoliteracy potentials of regenerartive and biodversity gardening acitivities in the society. 

His lates publications include the following books: 

Pedagogy in the Anthropocene: Re-Wilding Education for a New Earth. Palgrave Macmillan (2022). 

Rethinking education in light of global challenges: Scandinavian perspectives on culture, society and the Anthropocene. Routledge (2022). 

A New perspective on education in the digital age: Teaching, Media and Bildung. Bloomsbury Academic (2022) 

Bildung in the Digital Age: Exploring Bildung Through Digital Media in Education. Routledge (2022). 

Agile Learning and Management in a Digital Age: Dialogic Leadership. Routledge (2023). 

His publications also include: Bildung through social media, Acting with and against Big Data, Digging into the Anthropocene, Distraction and digital media, The theory of the three waves, Bildung in the era of digital media, Hybridisation of education.  

Michael Paulsen has worked as an associate professor in applied philosophy at Aalborg University, the department of Learning & Philosophy from 2012-2016, where he also was chair of the Applied Philosophy Study Board. Before that he was an assistant and later associate professor at the University of Southern Denmark from 2006-2012. He completed an MA in social philosophy at Aalborg University, Denmark, and a PhD in Philosophy, also Aalborg University.  From 2017-2020 he has also been co-coordinator of the Nordic University Study Circle “Learning & Bildung in time of globalisation”.

Research areas

Pedagogy in the Anthropocene and Bildung theory 

Research areas

  • General Theories of Teaching
  • Theories of Bildung
  • History of Pedagogical Ideas and Institutions
  • Secondary Education
  • Democracy
  • Welfare State Reforms
  • Internet
  • Innovation Strategies
  • Ecological networks and interactions

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