Hi there tout la gang,

We don't have much to say about research in practice at the Café right now

but we are talking policy and practice over here now: Literacy Enquirers.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

the (auditor) king is dead

So, Bronwen, what can we do?

We must give to our students a doubled gaze, to enable them to become critically literate, to become citizens at once capable of adapting and becoming appropriate within the contexts in which they find themselves and as responsible citizens capable of critique; citizens who can understand the constitutive work that discourse does and who can work creatively, imaginatively, politically, and with passion to break open the old where it is faulty and to envisage the new. Even more urgent is the task of giving them some personal tools for withstanding the worst effects of neoliberalism, for seeing both the pleasure and the danger of being drawn into it, for understanding the ways in which they are subjected by it. They need to be able to generate stable narratives of identity and to understand the way neoliberal discourses and practices will work against that stability.

We need to work at the level of both rationality and desire. Students must be trained in philosophy--to understand the range of discourses through which they, and others, are constituted, and how those discourses work at the level of reasoned argument and logic. It is essential too that they know how discourse works on desire. Desire goes beyond rationality and, to a large extent, is part of the mysterious, the poetic, the ineffable: in a realm not readily pinned down with words, not readily amenable to logic and rationality .... In various humanist guises, desire has been used as an indicator of who we ‘‘really’’ are, as signifying an essence that is ‘‘natural’’ and personal, as independent of social influence. But desire is spoken into existence, it is shaped through discursive and interactive practices, through the symbolic and the semiotic. Desires are constituted through the narratives and storylines, the metaphors, the very language and patterns of existence through which we are subjected--made into members of the social world. It is not a choice between compliance and resistance, between colonizing and being colonized, between taking up the master narratives and resisting them. It is in our own existence, the terms of our existence, that we need to begin the work, together, of decomposing those elements of our world that make us, and our students, vulnerable to the latest discourse and that inhibit conscience and limit consciousness.

I think what she is saying is that we work to discover each learner's personal What I Need to Learn list and we honour it every day in every class.

No comments:

Post a Comment