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Forgotten Connections: Human Science Pedagogy in Canadian Teacher Education

Forgotten Connections: Human Science Pedagogy in Canadian Teacher Education

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Forgotten Connections: Human Science Pedagogy in Canadian Teacher Education

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  1. Forgotten Connections: Human Science Pedagogy in Canadian Teacher Education Norm Friesen & Tone Saevi Oulu, May 25, 2009

  2. Outline • Forgetting in Education • What is forgotten? • Five Questions & ideas, & related cultural sources • The Pedagogical Relation • Pedagogy as Aporetical • Conclusion: Fostering pedagogical relations in North American contexts

  3. Teaching about Forgotten Connections • Course taught at Thompson Rivers University in fall, 2007 • Based, in part, on: Mollenhauer, K. (1983). Vergessene Zusammenhänge: über Kultur und Erziehung. Munich: Juventa • Developed by Stein Wivestad • Modified by Tone Saevi

  4. Forgotten Connections Course • Taught as a part of a 2 year edu-cation program at TRU • Students from arts and sciences background; in practicum placements during the course • Main text only available in German • Movies, fictional reading, “classic” theoretical reading • Course outline and summary of Mollenhauer book online: http://learningspaces.org/forgotten

  5. Forgotten Connections • Forgotten Connections has not been translated into English (although it is available in Japanese, Spanish and Dutch, for example). A number of the philosophical and even fictional texts central to the course have been out of print, in some cases for over a century • Pestalozzi, 1911; Wilhelm Meister, 1901

  6. Why Forgotten? 'one cannot understand the history of education in the United States,' she says, 'unless one realises that Edward L. Thorndike won and John Dewey lost' (Lagemann, 1989; 185)

  7. Lagemann on Dewey/Thorndike • If Dewey has been revered among some educators and his thought has had a greater influence across a range of scholarly domains --philosophy, sociology, politics, and social psychology, among them-- Thorndike’s thought has been more influential in education. It helped to shape public school practise as well as scholarship about education. (Langemann, 1989: 185)

  8. Thorndike & his legacy • Studying education in terms of learning as a natural, biological process: • How do animals learn? • Observation, natural scientific methods • Measurement of results or outcomes of different sequences/training approaches. • Thorndike “saw education as a technique for matching individuals to existing social and economic roles” (Lagemann, 1989: 212)

  9. Mollenhauer on Remembering • “Pedagogy must work at the task of cultural and biographical recollection; it must find through this recollection those principles which are of lasting value; pedagogy has to find a suitable language for this task.” (p. 10)

  10. What has been forgotten? • Illustrated through educational vocabularies in different languages • Education: used to be “process of nourishing or rearing a child/youth” now is “"systematic instruction, schooling or training” • Erziehung/Bildung: "breeding" "education" or "upbringing”/”formation” “erudition” • Avoidance of "mastery," “management," "instinct," "instruction," "reinforcement," "condition(ing)," or "disorder."

  11. 5 Questions & Keywords • Why do we want to have children? (Bildung and Erziehung) • What way of life do I present to children by living with them? (Presentation) • What way of life ought to be systematically represented to children? (Representation) • How can I help children to become self-starters and support their growth? (Developmental Preparedness; Self-starting) • Who am I? Who do I want to be, and how do I help others with their identity problems? (Identity)

  12. Films (fiction and theory text also used) • Why do we want to have children? (Bildung and Erziehung) My Life as a Dog • What way of life do I present to children by living with them? (Presentation) Kolya • What way of life ought to be represented to children? (Representation) To Be and to Have • How can I help children to become self-starters and support their growth? (Developmental Preparedness; Self-starting) Good Will Hunting The Wild Child • Who am I? Who do I want to be, and how do I help others with their identity problems? (Identity) Wit

  13. 5 Questions & Keywords for Student Teachers

  14. Why do we want to be with children? • Not a question of just professional involvement • A question of intergenerational “passing on” of aspects of our society • Part of the existential condition of the adult relationship with the child • passing on to children that which is good in our lives; "pedagogical good"

  15. Presenting a way of life to children • Adults are simply "presenting" to children their grown-up "behavioural image" unsystematically & unreflectively. • this continues today through the way in which we habitually "present" ourselves in our most frequent but unintended and unreflected activities

  16. Current Examples of Presentation

  17. Mannheim, K. (1927) The Problem of Generations • "The data transmitted by conscious teaching are of more limited importance, both quantitatively and qualitatively. All those attitudes and ideas which go on functioning satisfactorily in the new situation and serve as the basic inventory of group life are unconsciously and unwittingly handed on and transmitted: they seep in without either the teacher or pupil knowing anything about it."

  18. Presentation becomes Representation “the groundrules through which reality is constructed for children are not simply transformed; instead, a whole new system of rules emerges. The culture is no longer presented to the child in its entirety, but only in part: namely, via [a kind of] pedagogical rehearsal or practise, as it would be for someone from a foreign land. This makes certain institutions necessary [such as] schools… orphanages… [and] kindergartens….” (p. 50)

  19. Representing a way of life systematically • deliberate and systematic provision of depictions of culture to children in education • Occurs in a separate pedagogical sphere (curriculum) • Problems of choosing what is appropriate/inappropriate, how to represent

  20. Presents planning or “technical” problems… The problem of representation that is to be addressed practically and theoretically has two sides: On the one hand, there is the question of the right way of life that is to be represented, and on the other, there is the question of the most suitable way of selecting representations of such a way of life from the 'storehouse' of pedagogical and strategic possibilities. (p. 69)

  21. Examples of Representation • Can’t reduce education to this, though

  22. Helping children become self-starters and with their growth? • children are ready to learn and develop, but must be helped (developmental preparedness) • Children are ready to initiate their own projects and work on their own problems (self-starting); the child as expressing a “call” • human development cannot be externally forced upon the child; the student must be ready for education in order to be open to what the teacher has to offer

  23. Bollnow: Pedagogical Atmosphere • human development cannot be externally forced on the child; rather, there must be something present in the child which is oriented toward development and which asks for help. This means that it is in the nature of the child to want to grow. (Bollnow, 1989)

  24. Bollnow: Pedagogical Atmosphere • In this general atmosphere in which the bringing up of children occurs, two important interdependent and reciprocal directions are discernible. One is the affective or emotional disposition of the child toward the adult, the other, the corresponding orientation which the adult brings toward the child. This suggests a double-sided perspective from which to observe the relationship. (Bollnow, 1989)

  25. Identity • A relationship of the self to itself, of the self as it is presently perceived and understood, to the self that the individual can or will become • No answers or fixed identities, questions and challenges are key

  26. Mollenhauer on van Gogh vs. Dürer allow[s] for no identification [of the viewer] with the self that is represented. What is dominant is the gesture of self-exclusion... The observing self directs its gaze at a kind of vanishing point... the [outward] conventional self is separated from and placed in opposition to the [inner] self, and the present is disconnected from what is possible in the future... [I]n the process of artistic production... identity as a problem is brought to clear aesthetic visibility (pp. 164, 167)

  27. Nature of Pedagogy • Pedagogy is aporetic or paradoxical for Mollenhauer in that it tries to describe and strengthen that part of the child which is most fundamentally open and indefinite and about which nothing final or definitive can be said.

  28. The Pedagogical Relation • One basic question, presupposition or pre-understanding that saturates and interpenetrates all five questions and parts of Mollenhauer's book --and of the course developed from it-- is the matter of the pedagogical relation.

  29. The Pedagogical Relation: Intro • The pedagogical relation is the only possible starting point for upbringing and education (Mollenhauer 1983; Spiecker 1984, van Manen 1991, 2002a) • To Nohl (1970) the meaning of pedagogy lies in the adult's attitude toward the subjective life of the child

  30. The pedagogical relationship is a relation sui generis and “the loving relationship of a mature person with a 'developing' person, entered into for the sake of child so that he can discover his own life and form" (Nohl, as cited in Spiecker, 1984, pp. 203-204). • The pedagogical relation is asymmetrical (Skjervheim 1996), an existential condition indispensable to the pedagogical character of this relationship.

  31. Six basic qualities of the pedagogical relation (list) • In the pedagogical relation the adult is directed toward the child • In the pedagogical relation the adult will the pedagogical good • In the pedagogical relation the adult is tactful • The pedagogical relation influences the direction of the child's life • In the pedagogical relation the adult acts responsibly • The pedagogical relation comes to an end

  32. The pedagogical relation influences the direction of the student’s life • The pedagogical relation has an existential character and is important to both the adult and the child as life experience and for identity and self. But because the child is vulnerable and dependent due to his or her age and life situation the relation is more important to the child's development and future than to the adult's. • "Our relation to a real teacher is to a person in whose presence we experience a heightened sense of self and a real growth and the formation of personal identity" (Nohl 1970 in van Manen 1991,12).

  33. Another way of putting this is to say with Hertwig Blankertz (also a student of Nohl's) that "the whole of pedagogy, upbringing, has a meaning that resists scientific categories."[1]This means that in such a relationship, the child is always recognized as a unique, irreplaceable person, rather than being seen in terms of a developmental stage or category, or a psychological diagnosis.

  34. Pedagogy as Being and Having: A Student Reflection • A skill that I recognize in George Lopez is the ability to keep his students on track without creating resentment. He sets a high learning prerogative but is able to have conversations with his students that create trust and respect. I have always found this challenging. When does one listen to a student’s story and when do they end it before it evolves into a test of endurance? Children know when an adult or teacher is truly engaged - most can read the level of interest.

  35. I confess I have at times talked with children hoping that they would finish their story quickly so that I could return to a task. Rarely does the child not notice my disinterest, many will begin to talk louder and more quickly and others will dismally walk away, leaving me feeling something terrible. George Lopez demonstrates a gift for tactfulness and is able to keep his students on track without discouraging their desire to explore. (Anna)

  36. Pedagogy as Aporetical • The child would essentially remain something more than that which is immediately accessible to us through understanding and explanation. Whoever would want to be an educator, especially in view of a future that cannot be reliably reckoned, must attempt to enter into a relationship with this part of children's lives which can only be intimated. (p. 89)

  37. Conclusion • It [pedagogy] is not a subject for scholarly specialization. Specialized or scientific scholarship can easily describe triumphs of human development; but it can only gesture towards its aporetic character.... [And the] more finely the net of pedagogical strategies and institutions is woven, the greater a contribution that is expected from pedagogy towards social progress, the more difficult it becomes to express this [aporetic character]. (Mollenhauer, 1983, p. 88)[1]

  38. Conclusion • In this context, pedagogy is not a question of solving practical problems and optimizing learning processes, it is part of the ongoing mystery and frailty of human existence. • Upbringing and pedagogy are not a collection of means or a set of techniques that can be reduced to processes of optimization and standardization. It remains a profoundly personal relation, with the intention of contributing to the child’s life, experience, and supporting the child's growth in the direction of humanity and selfhood.

  39. Conclusion • It [pedagogy] is not a subject for scholarly specialization. Specialized or scientific scholarship can easily describe triumphs of human development; but it can only gesture towards its aporetic character.... [And the] more finely the net of pedagogical strategies and institutions is woven, the greater a contribution that is expected from pedagogy towards social progress, the more difficult it becomes to express this [aporetic character]. (Mollenhauer, 1983, p. 88)[1]

  40. In this context, pedagogy is not a question of solving practical problems and optimizing learning processes, it is part of the ongoing mystery and frailty of human existence. • Upbringing and pedagogy are not a collection of means or a set of techniques that can be reduced to processes of optimization and standardization. It remains a profoundly personal relation, with the intention of contributing to the child’s life, experience, and supporting the child's growth in the direction of humanity and selfhood.