ERIC Number: EJ1096375
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Pedagogy of an Empty Hand: What Are the Goods of Education? What Is Teaching Good For?
Curriculum Inquiry, v46 n1 p98-109 2016
Taking inspiration from Paulo Freire's "Pedagogy of the Oppressed," I propose to work through some of the features of "false generosity" that arise in education and specifically in moments of acute crisis. This inquiry, which begins with (and was sparked by) events following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, continues with a discussion of Philippe Falardeau's (2011) film "Monsieur Lazhar," and concludes with a reflection on Jacques Derrida's ethic of hospitality (elegantly applied by Jen Gilbert in her thinking about sexuality in schools.) Derrida provides a supplement to Freire's notion of "true generosity" by offering a radical (if impossible) model of unconditional giving and welcome. Of primary concern throughout this essay is how a posture of sympathetic paternalism expressed through superficial and symbolic gestures may not only preempt the delicate and hard work of symbolizing loss, but also obstruct the possibility of a more genuine and humanizing solidarity (what Freire would call "true generosity" and what Derrida would call an ethics of "unconditional hospitality"). The goal of providing solid and soothing guidance in situations of uncertainty may seem laudable. But are there moments when the oath of "doing no harm" is in itself harmful? Can we forge new answers to the questions: What are the goods of education? What is teaching good for?
Descriptors: Role of Education, Teaching (Occupation), Educational Theories, Educational Benefits, Politics of Education, Trauma, Crisis Management, Grief, Sexuality, Elementary Education, Natural Disasters
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Elementary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A