Countering crisisology: ignorance, indecision, and the inexplicable

Joff P. N. Bradley, Teikyo University

In response to the global crisis of addiction to toxic forms of technology, this presentation metamodels (Watson 2008) a paradigm shift in the role of the literature and philosophy teacher. Departing from traditional explication, the focus is on emancipation, corruption, co-creation, and the provocation of questions examining the principle of equality. Informed by educational philosophies and concepts such as Jacques Ranciere’s Ignorant Schoolmaster (2007), Michel Serres’s Thumbelina Generation (2014), Alain Badiou’s notion of corrupting youth (2017), Gilles Deleuze’s vision of co-production (1994), Stiegler’s sense of a journey of knowledge (Stiegler 2020), the need for explication is abandoned.

The Jacotot Method, emphasizing self-directed learning and rupturing societal norms, challenges the conventional role of an informed instructor. Michel Serres’s Thumbelina generation metaphor, explored alongside Bernard Stiegler’s concept of social sculpture (2017), offers insights into liberating knowledge from previous pedagogical models, particularly for the mobile phone generation.

The presentation also examines Alain Badiou’s idea of philosophy as a movement to transform subjectivity and Gilles Deleuze’s perspective on teaching as a collaborative endeavour, advocating a “do with me” approach and creating “vacuoles of noncommunication, circuit breakers” (Deleuze, 1995 p. 175) becomes vital in eluding control and forming new connections with students.

Transformative learning journeys: The be-in(g) of the teacher-self as a catalyst for belonging. 

Judith Terblanche, Milpark Education

Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) have historically aimed to cultivate, preserve, and share knowledge in service of social justice, serving as guardians and champions of critical thinking while fostering active citizenship among their students (Giroux 2015; Lynch 2006). Due to neoliberal ideologies, the educational landscape has transformed. Its primary function has shifted towards categorising and evaluating students to produce a labour force that sustains a capitalist economic framework (Rustin, 2016). The cultivation of critical thinking skills through discourse has been supplanted by a pedagogical emphasis on rote memorisation and regurgitation of information, thus diminishing the prioritisation of intellectual inquiry and dialogue. In such a milieu, intellectual counter-spaces in HEI’s are diminished and nullified (Case & Hunter, 2012).

Furthermore, in response to the pull and push forces of a digital transformative market-driven society, several online institutions of higher learning have accessed the higher education landscape.  Williamson and Hogan (2021, p. 12) argue that “online teaching and learning is neither inevitably transformative nor necessarily deleterious to the purpose of universities”, but a re-imagination is required. This phenomenon poses a possible further threat to intellectual counter-spaces, as there are significant barriers e.g. perceived distance, to creating the required conditions of safety and trust for deliberation amongst students, and students and teachers in a flexible online space, compared to the traditional classroom.