Monday, March 10, 2014

Pedagogy of the Depressed

Pedagogy of the Depressed
 "Whatever the subject of study in the classroom, the shadow
subject is ourselves, our limits, our potentials. As long as that
remains in the shadows, it will block both individual and group
from full illumination.  But if both hurt and self-doubt can be
brought into the light…the learning will  flower.”
Parker Palmer in The Courage To Teach

Some of the rigorists-of-higher education might wince at incorporating
“both hurt and self-doubt (brought into the light).”  Appropriately: not
appropriate for  the Witherspoon Complex & Young Professionals : to
factor-in hurt & doubt.

Palmer is over generalizing from a HUMANITIES bias, I’d say; maybe
over compensating for the dominant stereotypical objectivist/reductionist
/empirical somewhat positivistic instrumentalism of the “scientific” frame
of mind, which  we Humanities Disciplines & Majors (if not Art) pedagogically
tend to copy and even emulate: the sound of only one hand clapping, one
culture, one economy: rubricized measure-mentalism..   .  

Bring it on, I say: hurt and self-doubt, confusion,ambiguity, all the mess
and  guess  that goes into making sense-of-one’s-own-with others, all that
goes into  the reading of shared texts, the biases and prejudices that filter
and occlude: the argument that edifies, the trial and error and room for
play necessary for ecos-social-sustainable practice.

This conflict is no problem for professionals, appropriately focusing on
subject- matter, content, & methodology of disciplinary rigor
demanded by protocols of  math and science,  sociology,
history, environmental policy & such—a matter of
know-your-stuff, stand  and deliver.

(Does no good to  undercut, question, fool with, put into play confusing
the issues as well as measurable outcomes no matter how far a comfort
zone might be said to be pushed toward frontiers yet unknown .beyond

the edge & outside the box: it demoralizes  progress & obscure the
aims, goals and purposes of disciplinary study.)

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