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Pedagogy social good


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some random/ provocative thoughts on education & pedagogy, presented at M&C seminar at LSE 5th December 2012. For the slides to make sense, here's the talk "script"/ transcript...

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Pedagogy social good

  1. 1. Pedagogy as an undisputed social tool? Some (provocative & not entirely meant) thoughts…Script link:
  2. 2. LSE Media&Comms seminar• Abstract: “Few would deny that education is both an individual and a social good. However, the nature and the implications of its undoubted benefits are hotly contested." (G.Lloyd in: New Keywords, 2005). It seems that no thesis on pedagogy/ education, no modern theory dictionary entry on the topic can fail to state from the outset that education is great. This is dogma. Education is an important, noble and most basic human endeavour with the potential to cure all societal ills, eradicate social inequality - and undoubtedly beneficial. I would like to question the dogma, not simply because of a personal tendency towards contrariness, but because of a faith in the Heideggerian assertion that questioning is the piety of thinking, where thinking is not that which characterises pedagogy, but is done in philosophy. I will touch on this to some extent, but will above all want to question the value of the word pedagogy, by way of critically assessing its use within the field of Learning Technology.”• Script link: 15591645
  3. 3. Some “thoughts” on pedagogy• How ‘we’ use it – Pretentiousness• Theory & Practice• Education as social good = philanthropic fad?• What’s it got to do with Heidegger?
  4. 4. 1. Get others to do it for you“If you have 3 minutes, would you do me a favour, and write down thefirst thing that comes into your head when asked: “what ispedagogy, how do you use the term in your research/ work/ life”.Just vomit it into the email and press send. Anything, just a fewsentences, a small paragraph. Anything from the profound to theprofane… gobbledegook as welcome as a well-thought out definition.More welcome, since a well-thought out definition, unless your brainis a dictionary, isn’t really stormy.”
  5. 5. Answer 1“It’s interfering with children.” “”
  6. 6. Answer 2“Here’s my pedagogical puke: I always think of thisbook as it’s one I really enjoy looking at and am stillintrigued by: Paul Klee’s Pedagogical sketchbook –illustrated step by step it takes you through themeaning of the markings in his work in a veryscientific way, its bizarre! I always struggle withhow to pronounce it!”
  7. 7. Teaching…“Paul Klee the painter could not help becoming ateacher in the original meaning of the term. The word‘to teach’ derives from the Gothic ‘taiku-sign (our wordtoken). It is the mission of the teacher to observe whatgoes unnoticed by the multitude. He is an interpreter ofsigns. When Walter Gropius developed the curriculum ofhis German Bauhaus, he gave back to the word teacherits basic significance.”
  8. 8. Without pompousness“Each of the four divisions of the Sketchbookhas one key-sentence, strewn almost casually -without the pompousness of a theorem -among specific observations.”
  9. 9. Answer 3“It means education but in my latest book oneauthor says the term actually applies to childrenslearning and adult learning is andragogy orsomething like that! I sometimes think its a wordthat we use in learning technology when wewant to impress someone! I dont like it verymuch in all honesty!”
  10. 10. Answer 4“I try to avoid using the word because Im still notsure if its pedagoggy or pedagodjy. Ive yet tocompose a sentence that could not easily be recastto use "teaching" instead. And I am slightly fearfulusing it will draw a baying mob of semi-literate Sunreaders to string me up outside a Portsmouthboozer.”
  11. 11. Answer 5“I use pedagogy to mean "teaching, and facilitating learning".And I probably extend that definition in use to mean"teaching, and facilitating learning, effectively". I supposeit really means "the study of teaching and learning" but Iseldom use it in that context. However I dislike the use of itas a countable noun - I would never talk about "pedagogies"when I mean ‘approaches’.”
  12. 12. EM Forster“As long as learning is connected with earning, aslong as certain jobs can only be reached throughexams, so long must we take the examinationsystem seriously. If another ladder to employmentwas contrived, much so-called education woulddisappear, and no one be a penny the stupider.” Aspects of the Novel, 1927
  13. 13. Agatha Christie“Of course there’s a fashion in these things, just like there is inclothes. (My dear, have you seen what Christian Dior is tryingto make us wear in the way of skirts?) Where was I? Ohyes, Fashion. Well, there’s fashion in philanthropy too. It usedto be education in Gulbrandsen’s day. But that’s out of datenow. The State has stepped in. Everyone expects educationas a matter of right – and doesn’t think much of it when theyget it. Juvenile Delinquency – that’s what is the ragenowadays…” They do it with mirrors, 1952
  14. 14. What’s it to do with Heidegger?
  15. 15. Heidegger“Whoever does not have the courage and perseverance ofthought required to become involved in Nietzsche’s ownwritings, need not read anything about him either.”(Nietzsche I, 1936)“Aristotle was born, worked, and died. Now let’s turn tohis work.”(according to Arendt or Gadamer, can’t quite remember where now)
  16. 16. Seneca “We play games. We blunt our thinking with superfluous problems, & such idle analyses don’t help us to live well, but at the most they make us sound scholarly. Real wisdom is much more accessible than academic wisdom, it would be so much better if our education taught us common sense! But we waste everything, and we waste our highest good, namely philosophy, with superfluous questions. We are hopelessly addicted to everything, and that includes an insatiable hunger for scholarliness: we don’t learn for life, we learn for the sake of the School.”Latrunculis ludimus. In supervacuis subtilitasteritur: non faciunt bonos ista sed doctos. Apertior resest sapere, immo simplicior: paucis <satis> est ad mentem bonam uti litteris, sed nos ut cetera insupervacuum diffundimus, ita philosophiam ipsam. Quemadmodum omnium rerum, sic litterarumquoque intemperantia laboramus: non vitae sed scholae discimus