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Negotiating Aporias in Teacher Education: Researching the Impossible? Bill Green Charles Sturt University, Australia Bergen, 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "Negotiating Aporias in Teacher Education: Researching the Impossible? Bill Green Charles Sturt University, Australia Bergen, 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 Negotiating Aporias in Teacher Education: Researching the Impossible? Bill Green Charles Sturt University, Australia Bergen, 2014

2  teaching as “the art of the impossible” (Taubman, 2014)  education as an “impossible profession” (Freud, Britzman)  teaching the impossible profession?  Teaching the Impossible Profession: Alexander Mackie and the Project of Teacher Education Researching the impossible?

3  increasing regulation & control  distrust of teachers & teacher education, bordering on contempt  a enduring problem of governmentality  populational rationality, etc.  a ‘mass’ profession vs a ‘quality’ profession?  organic professionalism vs bureaucratic professionalism The battle for teacher education; or, Struggling for the soul?

4  the ‘subject’ of teacher education  or rather, the body-subject  its very character – its soul…  i.e ethical/moral & intellectual formation  hence, a matter of ethical & political import Struggling for the soul of teacher education?

5  professional practice, learning &education  practice theory & philosophy  the ‘primacy of practice’ thesis  a long philosophical heritage  philosophical-empirical inquiry  Practice theory – “… a ‘family of theories’ that challenge individualist and cognitivist understandings of practice as the application of theory with understandings of practice as material, embodied and orchestrated arrangements of ‘doings and sayings’ […], complexly located in space and time […].” (Lee & Dunstone, 2011: 485)  “Professional practice … consists of speech (what people say) plus the activity of the body, or bodies, in interaction (what people do, more often than not together) – a play of voices and bodies. In this view, practice is inherently dialogical, an orchestrated interplay, and indeed a matter of co-production.” (Green, 2009: 43) Re-thinking ‘practice’

6 A (different) practice turn?

7 PRAXIS APORIA PHRONESIS The ‘Primacy of Practice’ Thesis

8 action decision knowledge A reformulation?

9 PRAXIS APORIA PHRONESIS The ‘Primacy of Practice’ Thesis

10 Note: this “old, worn-out Greek word … this tired word of philosophy and logic” (Derrida, 1993: 12)  “… aporia, the undecideable moments in which the teaching subject is faced with an irreconcilable yet urgent decision” (Janzen, 2013: 382)  “… the ghost of undecidability haunts every responsible decision.” (Wang, 2005: 51) Thinking aporia

11  impossibility  undecidability  decision  responsibility  “… it is because responsibility is infinite that the decision is always undecidable.” (Critchley, 1999: 108) Related concepts

12  impossibility  undecidability  decision  responsibility  “… it is because responsibility is infinite that the decision is always undecidable.” (Critchley, 1999: 108) Related concepts

13  “You are obliged ceaselessly to act” (Anna Freud, [1930] 1974: 74).  “There is no way out of aporia, but in this impasse, active engagement with the impossible becomes imperative for creating new forms of life.” (Wang, 2005: 47)

14 “Since school is an institution that is constantly reformed, the teaching profession is a profession characterized by an almost constant discontent with teachers. The ‘desirable’ teachers are always different from existing teachers.” (Ingrid Carlgren, 1998: 317) “… the inherent impossibility of education—we can never know or predict what someone knows or thinks— and it turns that impossibility into an invitation to study.” (Peter Taubman, 2014: : 16) The ‘impossibility’ of teacher education

15 “… an unresolvable paradox at the heart of the project of teacher education – something that is, indeed, constitutive of that project, that enterprise, that undertaking.” (Green & Reid, 2010/2015 – in preparation) “With problem one knows what to do; there is a method for working out the puzzle. Aporia, however, Derrida defined as ‘the point at which the problematic task becomes impossible’…” (Gregory Ulmer, 2012: 310 ) Thinking (about) teacher education

16  researching (im)possibility  negotiating aporias  teaching & teacher education A theoretical & philosophical challenge? Conclusion

17

18  Deborah Britzman (2014) “The Other Scene of Pedagogy: A Psychoanalytic Narrative”, Changing English, Vol 21, No 2, pp  Ingrid Carlgren (1988) “Where Did Blackboard Writing Go?”, Journal of Curriculum Studies, Vol 30, No 6,  Jacques Derrida (1993) Aporias, Stanford, California: Sanford University Press.  Simon Critchley (1999) Ethics–Politics–Subjectivity, London & New York: Verso.  Melanie D. Janzen (2013) “The Aporia of Undecidability and the Responsibility of Teacher”, Teaching Education, Vol. 24, No. 4, 381–394.  Peter Taubman (2014) “The Art of the Impossible” Professional Study and the Making of Teachers”, English Journal, Vol 103, No 6, pp  Gregory Ulmer (2012) Avatar Emergency, Parlor Press.  Hongyu Wang (2005) “Aporias, Responsibility, and the Im/Possibility of Teaching Multicultural Education”, Educational Theory, Volume 55, Number 1, pp Selected References


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