Saturday, 8 January 2011

Setting the Seed

“”We” have nothing to lose but “our” selves”
(Badminton, 2003)

Edwards (2010) suggests that “in enacting the post-human, we move beyond the concept of learning as a purpose of education more towards a purpose of responsible experimenting”. We can’t reduce the “unpredictability” of the future (Edwards, 2010) but we can rather gather those “things that matter”.

I was inspired by Angus et al.’s (2001) work on cyborg pedagogy – encouraging students to “take personally the issues they study”. Educators can choose a topic for the students to investigate (Demetrious, 2004; Larsen and Faden, 2008) or can leave the student to choose something that resonates with them (Angus et al., 2001) – the latter a process that, for educator and student, can feel both risky and exciting (Edwards, 2010).

This reflective process gives a feeling of “ownership” to the student (Winkelmann 1995), they are “actively collaborating” (Usher & Edwards, 1998), it is “transformative” learning (Sterling, 2009). There is a “redefinition of the role of teacher” (Usher & Edwards, 1998) – there still remains a guiding, encouraging role, support structures if assistance is needed (Angus et al., 2001; Winkelmann, 1995).

Greer (2009) encourages us to think of ourselves as “cultural conservers” – find our focus, our passion, that aspect of our culture and tradition that we value most, work with simplicity and share our experiences, teaching others who come after us following the same path. Drawing on our culture, we are practising a living heritage not preserving a dead one, and in the process, growing toward the future.

If the process of learning excites us, holds our attention, “connects” with us, we remember it better (Angus et al., 2001) and can draw on it when the time is right. This “transformative” learning is “one that values and sustains people and nature... more holistic, participative, and practical” (Sterling, 2009).

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