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When the pedagogy disappeared

Trouble in the pedagogy assembly house
Forfatter: Thomas Rømer
Forlag: Fjordager (Danmark)
What happens to pedagogy when there are no objects and experience anymore, but only our own observations and our own abstract language of learning? It dies. 


"Educator" comes from Ancient Greek paidagogos, "Child companion". Paid means "child" and is also found in paidia, which means "upbringing, formation". The educator's task is to raise and shape the young person for life. Once "a work, a call to life, a wonder dance." The noblest and most beautiful craft. Today, the professional authority of the teacher is confused with something authoritarian. Now «responsibility for own learning» is introduced. Why exactly this abominable word "learning"? Even visible learning. While education is about making things and thoughts into and through working with the fabric, learning is about getting some tools and then just applying them. The first is carried out by wonder and critical sense, the last by measurability and mastery. Why does a whole generation of politicians, academics and opinion makers fall for something that obviously makes young people more fearful, dumb, less curious, less independent-thinking? After reading Romans Ballad in the Pedagogy Assembly House, consisting of comments, posts, notes, discussions and aphorisms, I have no doubt that the answer must be found in a special strategic language that every knowledge worker and school student today must master and believe in – that is, control. The competition state whips up a language where only information, communication and data benefit "pedagogy" and not imagination and thinking.

Language positivism. Roemer's project can be read as a much needed showdown with a breathless pseudoscientific constructivism that permeates both the university and the educational landscape. Everywhere, pedagogy is translated into competency language, visible learning and evidence. Teacher plans become the teacher and leader's Quran that everyone must obey to the point. The same language of learning also permeates the academic world, which should have created the research foundation for new pedagogy. Here too one must be able to master, that is, the belief that the world is just a social construct, that there is nothing outside our linguistic discourses. Political conflict, values, human life, school, quality – everything is determined by how jeg articulates and observes it. Language is a closed system. How things, nature and man are independent of whether we observe it, we cannot say anything about. We can only talk about how our linguistic expressions govern us, for example identity. But this constructivism has ended up creating its own positivism, an instrumental language that dazzles us and alienates us from the surroundings. Time and time again our constructions turn out to hide reality. The same goes for the two writers Niklas Luhmann and Michel Foucault, who have given birth to two generations of academics. Their focus on boundaries of discourse "loses contact with the object and the political". We have been given an "ideology for anti-criticism". Here are no tools for thinking change, thinking critically.

“All students today say the same, no matter what education they come from. We have lubricated communication, information and constructivism throughout. ”

Thought back. When last year, after an exam, I was supposed to give a grade, the examiner told me that “all students today say the same no matter what education they come from. We have lubricated communication, information and constructivism above all. It has all become so predictable ”. In the essay on Thinking and Morality (1969), Hanna Arendt writes: "Distance to reality is more dangerous than the, perhaps, evil instincts that are human." And she describes how distance from reality occurs when man is disconnected from his own experience of things. The next step is to understand that experience and experience are not about mig, but about the self's connection to things, to approach things. This approach is what we call thinking, Rømer writes. With John Dewey, he writes: "To think is to be carried from one thing to the next. To think is to be carried to things and into them and on to the next thing. The idea is to bridge things. (…) To think is to be among the things, to be carried. Thinking is the active process that promotes passivity, that is, susceptibility so that one can bear. (…) It is the place of attention and discipline. It is a place of trust. Trust that one can be worn. It's very naive and totally un-strategic. " If we imagine that everything is a linguistic construct, we can never help change and transform reality into a new shared experience. To rediscover pedagogy, we must see language as an extension of nature, of the body, the senses, of the non-human. To shift focus from «inner potentials» and talent management to material sensitivity and focused repetition. For example, the poet is Inger Christensens Alphabet a great listing of what exists, a fundamental doubt that the world is that the way we see, sense and understand the world is conditioned by the nuances of language, by new ways of naming things.

Criticism. «A critic should seek absolute solitude. There he finds the most surprising company; a community of those who have nothing in common; a buzzing life. ” Here we find perhaps the greatest challenge of the education and communication community today: It is steeped in a compulsion to be on, be visible, communicate. That is why so many have come to sound so similar. For thinking, as Roemer points out, "has nothing to do with communication" or with "my gaze, my observation", but with a "sensitivity to the movement of the outside, the object, the things". Here lies the secret of critical pedagogy. “While the debater deals with the communicable aspects, the critic seeks to examine things. The critic is the medium of things. Therefore, he must be listening, passive, sensitive. (…) The critic is alone with the things that he enforces plurality and inner turmoil by opening his ears and responding sufficiently pending, poor and receptive. The critic is in a world of reals. A world of things and self whose appearances and connections are constantly in the care of inner development. It is also called pedagogy. The critic falls into the world while the debater tries to construct and use the world for his own benefit. ” (…) «The critic shakes the ground of debate, he destroys the communicable, whereby another human being, completely without another's leadership and thus of his own power, moves to the mode of self and things. (…) Out of criticism, another community is emerging. ” Criticism is discovery and creation and thus criticism is the very school we must attend.

Alexander Carnera
Alexander Carnera
Carnera is a freelance writer living in Copenhagen.

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