periphery

pedagogy of the periphery @ threewalls 2010/02/10

  1. exhausted teachers, if not emotionally and physically, at least intellectually and spiritually, i.e. overworked, ineffective, uncreative
  2. degrading art objects in favor of non-art modifications of neighborhood environment, forgetting that the art object is almost nothing but its connections and relations with the currently fetishized ‘outside’; it’s as if crossing the threshold to the architectural exterior is diving into some social phlogiston, ether, aura
  3. the creative teacher and class will be the student’s favorite and most educating, not poems about lincoln i.e. not canned creativity, which is oxymoronic
  4. history of aesthetic ideas planted early on and regularly also sabotages art, why not ask the student: ‘if you were taken away to rot in gitmo what would you miss most? what do you value? how do you deal, when protecting your values ensures the perpetuation of a dysfunctional situation?’ art ed –> value ethics
  5. disavowal that education is social engineering, instrumentalization with a neglect of techincal problem-solving
  6. teachers have no control over student homelife, curriculum reqs, budget, … go as far as one can imagine e.g. controlling birth rates etc. do teachers know anything about totalitarianism? bogey-word –> closed book
  7. why not coming clean to the students about the institution’s powerlessness, presented in a thorough and compelling contract, as an openly collaborative project not one veiled by disciplinary bluffs
  8. teachers consume their time under the radar of their superiors privately, ignoring the potential to self-organize outside of the parallel bureaucracy of school system and teachers’ union, comparisons to past attempts fail to consider potential of the internet, cellphones, and their conjunction; teacher population may be technologically illiterate relative to student population
  9. ‘uneducated’ student population is possibly more creative than the ‘learned’ teacher population, in dealing with peers and social competition, precarious character development, balancing schoolwork and excessive extracurricular leisure activities, and adoption of cellphone and networking technologies
  10. jean-joseph jacotot apparently taught a language he did not know himself
  11. no teacher discourse on utopian education, social reproduction, big picture models negotiated and commitment to realization, teachers’ journals –who reads/writes them? why not letters, pamphlets, substantive periodicals? à la “the strength to build becomes paralyzed; the courage to make plans that encompass the distant future is discouraged; those with a genius for organization become scarce …” —Nietzsche. The Gay Science, V. 1887.
  12. from daniel smith’s lecture deleuze and the subject of politics day 3b q&a:

. . . somewhere deleuze says the difference between the left and the right is not a difference that’s there [along a continuum], it’s a fundamental difference in nature. because the right is by definition associated with law and order, with the structures that be. the left is precisely at the level of problems, that aren’t resolved. it’s not the way things are and therefore it requires thinking, it requires working through these problems, which is not clear, nothing is known in advance, so there’s not at least the same kind of unity, because you’re at the level of problems, and you need to think not just fall back on these solutions that we already have and that we want to preserve and maintain and control. if there’s a difference between the left and the right, that’s one way of thinking about it, and that’s why they would be on the left. there’s a point where deleuze is complaining, in france about the educational system and some reforms that were being done –he goes, you can’t even get the numbers, of how many students are doing x, y, and z at these universities because there’s no… because it’s a right-wing government, there are no functionaries out there garnering the information you could get to resolve the problem because they’re just not interested in that. this on-the-ground problematizing is where the left is on its own rather than the right.

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