Saturday, 25 October 2008

Immediacy and physicality?

There is almost a whole genre devoted to the disembodiment (is that a word?) of online education - an approach I am yet to find convincing, though it certainly presents some things to think about in it. This is one, which I am quoting so I can return the book, which is overdue. What I find interesting about this particular quote is the intersection of time with space and bodies.

The waning of interest in the immediacy of pedagogy is abetted by the imperative for "reflection," a term which is now well represented in teacher education course outlines (along with empowerment and special needs). Reflecting on a pedagogical event is more important than enacting it. As teachers we must learn about our pedagogy by looking back at past events in which we are no longer bodily present. We look back only in order to look ahead - and we look ahead to learner outcomes.

In the marriage of learner-centredness and lifelong learning, there is of course a rationale for pedagogical work which is also beneficial to teh idea of education as a privately provided user-pays endeavour. New information technologies can be harnessed, the curriculum package can be perfected, and those teachers' bodies, which are stumbling blocks to best practice can be stepped around, over or on. Teachers who have had the foresight to reinvent themselves as facilitators to the paying use are more likely to remain as a human resource in a learning environment where pedagogy is no longer enclosed by spatial, temporal boundaries.

Erica McWilliam, Stuck in the Missionary Position? Pedagogy and Desire in new times, in Clare O'Farrell et al, Taught Bodies, Peter Lang (New York) 2000. pp27-37

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