Unreal Nature

November 26, 2018

The Student’s Will

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:52 am

… conventional explication stultifies learning by short-circuiting the journey …

This is from ‘Alchemy of the Classroom’ by Ethel Baraona Pohl & César Reyes Nájera in issue #45 (2015) of the independent quarterly magazine, Volume:

… Means of exploration are often driven by a mix of curiosity and necessity but also by the necessity to discover new ways of living. This sort of forced emancipation recalls the intellectual experience that Jacques Rancière writes about in The Ignorant Schoolmaster; Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation. The book describes the pedagogical experience of Joseph Jacotot, a French teacher who created a method of “intellectual emancipation” that demystified the authority of the teacher as one who knows and imparts that to students who don’t.

[line break added] In this way, knowledge is received, absorbed passively and then simply reproduced. On the contrary, Jacotot’s method resembles the process of learning a language where experimentation, exploration and imitation are more effective than conventional teaching. By reducing the alleged superiority between master and student, Jacotot inverted the logic of a system based on explanations.

[line break added] Arguing that intelligence is shared and manifested in all products of human labor (everything is in everything), Jacotot pointed to the possibility of an incremental acquisition of knowledge by self-instruction. Jacotot believed that conventional explication stultifies learning by short-circuiting the journey that the student is able to make, thus creating an unconscious ‘veil of ignorance’ and a duality of superior and inferior intelligence, between the master and the student.

At the starting point of Jacotot’s method is a distinction between two human traits: intelligence and will. Students may just need to follow the teacher’s will, who guides them towards the subject. In Jacotot’s classes, the students learned using their own methods, not his.

… One of the reasons to understand why the traditional economic and bureaucratic system in academia hasn’t changed is possibly because not only education but also our social and cultural reality has become ‘schooled,’ as Ivan Illich points out in his book Deschooling Society. Illich states that universal education through schooling is not feasible, and adds that “the current search for new educational funnels must be reversed into the search for their institutional inverse: educational webs which heighten the opportunity for each one to transform each moment of his living into one of learning, sharing, and caring.

-Julie

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