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Some preliminary notes on hope and radical pedagogy

June 4, 2012


Hello again! Although you might think we have disappeared, another victim of excessive utopianism, “le petit mort” of the student/protest/occupy movement which failed to impregnate a Tory state with its pants hanging round its ankles and deliver a revolution…it’s not true! We were always a non-heirarchical, nomadic, copyright-free “meme” that we felt could be shared by all, and we shared an idea(l) of education with countless other ‘”free schools/universities” across the country. Yes, the energy of the movement has gone from boil to simmer, but it’s not over yet. There is a strange tension in the air, we are waiting for our opportunity again – a revolution needs the right material conditions, and strategy is still absolutely crucial. While we wait we prepare, and disappear back into society, watching, learning, reading, talking, working, arguing, experimenting…this isn’t a weakness, it’s a strength. As a part of the intellectual strata of this capitalist society, we must prepare the right ideas so that when the time comes, we have something to contribute, these ideas then become reality and exert a material force. Two quotes from two extreme ends of the left-right spectrum:

‘Only a crisis – actual or perceived – produces real change. When that crisis occurs, the actions that are taken depend on the ideas that are around…our basic function [is therefore] to develop alternatives to existing policies…until the politically impossible becomes the politically inevitable.’ (Milton Friedman; in Stuart Hall, 2011: 707)

 ‘The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, supplant the criticism of weapons, material force must be overthrown by material force. But theory, too, will become a material force as soon as it seizes the masses.’ (Marx, in Perry 2002: 41)

The two quotes together remind us that on the one hand, ideas are very important, but on the other, the hard work of political struggle must be done as well, in order to get to the point when ideas become crucial. The problem that we “radical” intellectuals have is that we are full of anxiety about our class position. Are we radical if we have the luxury of a good education and the time to read, write and think? Are we middle class if we have a phd? Are lecturers “real workers”? At what point do we become bourgeois, when we become professors? And so on. This anxiety usually leads to one of two solutions: preaching to a working-class that never actually comes to your lectures on radical theory, or giving up real politics altogether and disappearing into theory (and the nice office with a locked door through which even one’s own students aren’t welcome).

To combat this political dead-end, we must return to Gramsci. (Yes, it’s hegemony again, sorry Scott Lash). Gramsci relentlessly explored the problem of intellectuals in capitalist society. He distinguished between traditional and organic intellectuals. The former are the kind that has decided they exist somewhere outside of class society, and they pursue knowledge for knowledge’s sake, free from political bias. Of course, we all know that the apolitical is still political in a capitalist society – it’s function is an extremely insipid reproduction of the status quo. Organic intellectuals are spontaneously produced out of definite class positions. This means that the capitalist class produces them (entrepreneurs, consultants, think-tanks, etc) and so does the working-class. The latter kind is personified in the history of British cultural studies and radical history, starting with Raymond Williams, E.P. Thompson, Richard Hoggart. In a very interesting article, Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies, Stuart Hall describes the deeper, political intention of the CCS at Birmingham as trying to produce an organic intellectual:

‘There is no doubt in my mind that we were trying to find an institutional practice in cultural studies that might produce an organic intellectual. We didn’t know previously what that would mean, in the context of Britain in the 1970s, and we weren’t sure we would recognize him or her if we managed to produce it. The problem about the concept of an organic intellectual is that it appears to align intellectuals with an emerging historic movement and we couldn’t tell then, and can hardly tell now, where that emerging historical movement was to be found. We were organic intellectuals without any organic point of reference; organic intellectuals with a nostalgia or will or hope (to use Gramsci’s phrase from another context) that at some point we would be prepared in intellectual work for that kind of relationship, if such a conjuncture ever appeared. More truthfully, we were prepared to imagine or model or simulate such a relationship in its absence: “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will.’ (Hall, 1992)


The important thing to remember about the original “holy trinity” of British cultural studies (Williams, Hoggart, Thompson) is that they wrote their first books while teaching adult education in various parts of the country. They weren’t yet traditional intellectuals. And now I can come to the point of this post; as intellectuals, especially if we haven’t yet become absorbed, neutralised and ossified in the academy, we have an important political function above and in a sense below the production of theory. We can produce a network of real radical education, right now, which might have a chance of producing organic intellectuals and will certainly contribute to the creation and maintenance of a counter-hegemony.

And I’m not talking of some glamorous Occupy temporary tent in the middle of London or New York, which will only produce a temporary excitement and tourist feeling. I’m on about starting from scratch, in shitty areas, helping with literacy, numeracy, job applications, letters to the government, creative writing, etc. I know there is already an institutionalised version of this, with free classes supplied by local councils. But these have a function and a style tailored for the reproduction of existing social relations – more than anything, they style of teaching and bureaucratic apparatus behind this teaching disempowers people and (re-)trains them for obedience to the ruling-class hegemony and political apathy.

What I’m talking about is training. I have worked in a shit job for the year or so and hated it. But I have also been working my way into a teaching career. I love teaching. I still hate the fact that it is a job. I still hate the university as a racist and authoritarian elitist institution (that is leading the way in the exploitation of its mostly precarious work-force). I’m also terrified of becoming that which I hate. But I have also realised in the transition from one type of work to another that each type of work has its own radical possibilities. My office job just wasn’t my material reality, I am a member of the intellectual lower middle-class. I don’t need to be ashamed of this. What I shouldn’t do is either pretend I am working-class white collar, or now seize my opportunity for a safe and complacent academic career. I somehow feel that I have found my material conditions relative to my class, and have a renewed sense of political purpose. In the transition from being an unemployed graduate student in London to returning to the midlands and working, I didn’t know how to be radical anymore. Now I know.


My plan now is to begin an apprenticeship in radical pedagogy. As part of my institutional training, I need to gain teaching qualifications. But as well as this, I am learning to teach English as a foreign language, and will soon hopefully do a DTLLS so that I can teach literacy and numeracy. You might ask, ‘why bother learning the methods of the Ideological State Apparatus’ – the answer is I’m not sure. On the one hand, this is my career path, but on the other it seems important that I don’t short sell people who really want and need this knowledge. I mean, I cannot bring my radical ideas to a group of people who desperately need a job, can’t write a CV or speak English, and need to tick a box in an application process.

But this institutional path will hopefully be counter-balanced by a totally de-institutionalised exploration of radical pedagogy. The two should compliment each other, but in a certain direction. I should take from the institution, never exploit students for the advancement of ideological education. This will be a very hard line to negotiate. This deinstitutionalised education would offer the same things if needed, but in a way that empowers the student, beings them to critical consciousness, teaches them to teach themselves. This way also allows the teacher to learn from the student, which is important to keep the direction radical, not exploitative.

This deinstitutionalised education comes from the experience and writings of people like Paulo Freire, John Dewey, Ivan Illich. But also the work we did early on in the UfSO, based on intuition and direct experience of bad education and the struggle for equality within our own version. I’m hopefully going to write about these ideas in more concrete detail on this blog. You might complain that these thinkers aren’t left-wing, or Marxist, or whatever. I might be wrong about this, but I currently believe that education is in a sense prior to politics and ideology. The aim of education is to produce critical consciousness, and I don’t think it’s necessarily good to teach an ideology, even if it is anti-capitalist, or even to teach from an ideological position. I think the future of radical politics lies in the achievement of a critical popular consciousness that will crystallise a new and powerful hegemony. This could lead to a true democracy, a socialist utopia, or just a much-needed improvement in the existing social relations. I don’t know. That kind of explicit political struggle and battle of ideas should take place along side these kinds of bottom-up long-term projects.

Why am I telling you all this? Because I’m excited. But also to try to fight this feeling of apathy after a another supposed failed revolution. Don’t believe the hype. That’s what the ruling classes want us to feel. We are actually all still involved somehow, somewhere, in some important way. We should all communicate more, outside existing channels, create new and better networks. This would really fight the apathy. We are all in this together, no matter which side of the fence. It is the responsibility of all of us to do what we think is right in a way that feels right. The transformation of society will come from all angles, maybe slowly, maybe all of a sudden (or maybe a combination of the tow, a growing surge that suddenly breaks the flood-banks). We all have a role to play, we should try to make sure it is a progressive one, based on passion, experience and hope, not on cynicism and disillusionment.

Grave Riddle

References and preliminary reading list:

Hall, Stuart. The Neo-liberal Revolution. Cultural Studies, 25:6, 705-728 (2011)

— Cultural Studies and its Theoretical Legacies, 1992:

Perry, Matt. Marxism and History. Palgrave Macmillan: 2002

Gramsci, Antonio. Selected Writings 1916 -1935. Ed. David Forgacs. London, Lawrence and Wishart: 1988

Monk, Ray. Ludwig Wittgenstein: The Duty of Genius. London, Vintage: 1990

Wheen, Francis. Karl Marx. London, Fourth Estate: 1999

Friere, Paulo. Education: The Practice of Freedom. London, Writers and Readers Publishing Cooperative: 1973

The Pedagogy of the Oppressed. New York, Continuum: 1993

Illich, Ivan. Deschooling Society. Harper Colophon Books: 1971

Dewey, John. Experience and Education. Pocket Books: 1977

7 Comments leave one →
  1. June 4, 2012 11:51 am

    Good luck Doc. Where are you planning to teach – I’m not quite clear if you mean to teach in HE, or elsewhere or both?

    It’ll certainly be a hard line to walk, I think – but a worthwhile aim. There are so many pressures, you find yourself being pushed here and there.

    I taught as a TA at a fairly middleclass university for one year. I was trying to challenge things on several different levels.

    I tried to organise against exploitation of myself and my coworkers, but this was hard. Behind closed doors and on paper all my coworkers were on side, but when push came to shove I found myself alone, with everyone else feigning blindness or fainting away with fear.

    I realised quite quickly the students from ‘better’ neighbourhoods, families and schools, and the ones who struggled in class just as they had always been struggling to keep in a race that was rigged against them. I realised that this struggle to put pen to paper and come out with a passable essay is, in face, class struggle. And I tried my best to do something about it. Taking care to include these few young people, to give them extra help outside class, careful commentaries on essays, helping them avoid discipline for absences or essay lateness, &c. Still, the kids who’d always had it good came out on top and those who never had came out at the bottom. It was very dispiriting, because it showed the inadequacy of teaching in the face of a lifetime of game rigging.

    I also found a political angle for every subject (I taught Eng Lit) and tried to direct the students to interrogate their own complacent middle-class ideologies. This was probably the most successful aspect, for the classes were fun games of exposing contradictions and question the grounds of received approaches and logic. Here, by the way, I saw first hand exactly how education is not prior to ideology and politics. Everything they learn at school is a means of socialisation, of naturalising bourgeois democratic ideology and adapting them to accept the status quo. This is quite painfully obvious in class. Again, I didn’t succeed in revolutionising their minds, but I did shake up a few complacencies. Most importantly, perhaps, the discussion helped give confidence to one student regarding her bisexuality and helped her to be more certain in her feminism. …But, that’s not to say that the exam papers weren’t filled with ‘deconstructions’ arguing conservative positions… (Btw., they didn’t get this shitty debased form of deconstruction from me; it seems to’ve diffused in HE curricula like the flouride in the water.)

    Conclusions: This was in a HE setting, obviously; I think the experience would be very different in other settings. The pressures of teaching or training outside of HE must be a lot more intense, and student’s consciousness very different. The pressure you point to of trying to challenge a system whilst giving those you teach the skills to work and survive within that system grows, I think, as the educational abilities of the student declines. When one difficulty might be that your pupils have not been socialised to suceed in this system, you might find it very difficult to not simply end up trying your level best to help them adapt to the system; challenging the systerm can get indefinitely deferred, displaced by the brutal reality that your students need to have some skills that capitalist society can make use of. Colleagues, bosses and the larger system all lend additional pressures. You cannot override marking criteria; you cannot break every rule. Nor can you reverse history. But, the struggle to change these people’s lives bumps up constantly against the necessity of changing the whole world. The frustration of this is a weight in itself!

    Anyway, must go – sorry for rambly nature – written in a rush!

  2. John permalink
    June 5, 2012 3:14 pm

    Great article. I think less of a fixation on the romance of revolution and more care for the gradual construction of alternative pockets of society is exactly the way to go. David Harvey has been writing about this lately: finding ways to put pressure on the system by living the alternative. While it’s easy to get misty-eyed about an epoch-shifting uprising this approach comes with problems. Look at militia-laden Libya; fingers crossed for that. But setting up alternatives is problematic as well: if what we end up doing is creating a non-remunrated sector that helps capital via free training etc; or helping David Cameron with his Big Society…

  3. flashbank permalink*
    June 7, 2012 8:40 am

    First of all, thanks very much for the constructive comments – nice not to have pure trolls for a change! (Sorry about the massive reply, but you both gave me lots to think about)

    Wit: I’m not disagreeing with your comments here, but want to note that I wasn’t talking about HE so much, in terms of deinstitutionalised, radical education. I was trying to formulate a dualism between the institutionalised work that we all do that reproduces capitalist relations of production, consumption and also socio-culturally, and the other kind of “extra-curricular” work we might do that is explicitly radical. Each sides of this binary must then also be “deconstructed” (sorry!) – the institutional work must be as political as possible, which is where your points come in Wit, and you are bang on regarding just how difficult and exhausting this can be. But I also think this is our responsibility, and we must stand up and fight as much as we possibly can. My colleagues at Goldsmiths and the UfSO for example are brilliant at refusing the kind of racist immigration laws and policies that are slipped in all over the place in the institution, that must be recognised and fought.

    On the other side of the binary, we must be so attentive and self-critical when it comes to trying to find what is truly radical and only superficially so. This isn’t about drawing arbitrary distinctions, descending into left-wing name calling and squabbling. But theory must be used to find what is and isn’t radical. Which is why I think thinkers like Illich and Freire are excellent within educational discourse because they are so outside of the establishment and really push radical pedagogy to its limits (a good test is thinking how this could be absorbed by the academy, and whether historically it has been). The further problem, which I would like to return to at some point, is that capital will absorb everything no matter how radical eventually. This is just true, but doesn’t necessarily mean that this process shouldn’t be continued. There is a dialectic between radicalism and primitive accumulation that needs to be adequately theorised i think.

    So I want to say that my particular plan falls within the vague historical category of “informal education” (thought against formal education). The INFED website has some brilliant papers on the history of this practice. But this is just my area of interest (I hope to link up with others – this isn’t some kind of individualistic rant). But within even the small cross-section of class struggle that I was talking about – what to do as a member of the intellectual class – there are so many other options. For example, I am also a musician. I happen to have no interest in making a career out of this, and just love being in a band and creating a loud racket that makes people walk out almost instantly. Within this area of culture, or whatever you want to call it, there is a way of making music that reproduces the status quo and one which is radical. In the 80s and this has parallels across time and space, the US punk/hardcore underground created a totally alternative network of distribution, promotion, support, communication, criticism, etc. This was a true “counter-culture” (see books like American Hardcore or This Band Will Change Your Life). This counterculture very quickly got absorbed by capital and spat out as a new consumer market, invigorating a stagnant music industry. Fine, this always happens. But it was still radical and I think necessary. It politicised a generation. They might not have been Marxists, but they still hated capital.

    My point is that I could also choose to fight against the current structure of the music industry (which we do, in a selfish way, i.e. we just say ‘fuck you’ to the industry and make music for ourselves. We are working on the alternative networks). In our band, making the music we do, it is almost impossible in the Midlands to find any support for new music, no venues, no labels, no zines, no radio, etc. There are some people trying, but it is an overwhelming task. I think it would be a worthy purpose to struggle to create a new underground network in the midlands, if not the country. This would require totally rethinking the way music is made, distributed, listened to, and how bands communicate with each other and with potential supporters. The internet does not automatically do this, and in a way makes it more difficult.

    Anyway, this is a digression. I think what this shows is that when we reconsider the whole struggle in terms of hegemony and counter-hegemony, the process and thinking about it becomes more complex, but in a good way. It brings the whole thing back to earth, back home to our own backyards and lives. Of course we then face issues such as what is and isn’t radical on the level of everyday life, and how to overcome the dialectic between radicalism and primitive accumulation. But this feels like a step forward. For example, we could return to the Big Society concept, which seems to haunt everything we do on the left, especially more radical Anarchist initiatives.

    The Big Society was an immensely impressive piece of ideological weaponry that disabled so much of our confidence in utopian initiatives. But at the end of the day, it was just a trick. As I have written elsewhere, if we critically analyse the idea of the Big Society, we will find that what David Cameron and Co. meant was nothing like the actual socialist-utopian implicit meaning behind it. The test is simple: embark on a true Big Society project, that isn’t just a way for “social enterprises” to soak up the profit made possible by a typical Thatcherite neoliberal economic move, and this project will meet repressive resistance. The social centres of Anarchist practice are historical-empirical proof of this. These are true Big Society initiatives, utopian no doubt, but there was a totally irrational reaction by the repressive state apparatus in response to them. The police smashed doors in, the government passed new laws protecting unused private property. Why? What’s wrong with some people taking over a house with no one in it, in the middle of a poor area, offering food, shelter, education, books, bike repairs, etc – for free? This should be doing something that the government apparently can no longer afford to do, in the age of austerity?

    So finally, I want to mention something that I think the UfSO was based on, although we never really conceptualised it. This also then links in with what you were saying John, and perhaps David Harvey is talking about (I need to read it, Harvey is safe). These kind of utopian initiatives, trying to create something socialist, or anti-capitalist, or whatever you want to call it, within the structure of capitalism and conservatism, have a practical-critical function. This is supposed to echo Marx’s points in his These on Feuerbach for anyone interested in where this comes from, and why Marx really is still relevant (but it isn’t necessary, Marx isn’t some kind of Bible-esque authority). When we embark on projects that are truly radical, we meet resistance from the status-quo (I can’t think of a better name at the moment, “ruling classes”, although true, sounds too old school Marxist and I think shuts conversation down). This is the litmus test. But the important point against the criticism that utopianism isn’t what we need, is that within the frame of the hegemony-counter-hegemony dynamic, there might be a point in which these utopian practical-critical practices might reach a critical mass and actually transform society. The important thing is that if this happens, the process of building up these radical practices will also create an organic and popular counter-culture upon which a new social consciousness can be created.

    Like Friedman and Marx say, the material conditions have to be ripe for transformation, but the new ideas need to be ready to form a truly new and popular society. This is against Leninism and the avant-garde. I don’t think this is ever a good idea. We need to live now like we would live in a better future, not wait until some new elite takes over and patronises us with how we should live.

  4. June 9, 2012 2:05 pm

    Nice piece, Prof Iterole! (that’s what she said). I am somewhat torn myself between the patient work of a radical pedagogy, and the flash and bang of a more pointed, if less moral, propaganda. The latter is due, I’m sure, to the need for excitement and the desire to move the seemingly immoveable, to smash the Party of Order and to arrest the endless repetition of the blip blip of capitalism’s heart monitor. I need to at least be able to think, for my own mental health, that it could kick off tomorrow, or the next day, or the next… A kind of endless deferral, which is of course a kind of mental illness itself. The problem I sense with the low G.I option of the permanent and everyday revolution of a radical pedagogy, is that in the absence of any seemingly possible actual revolution, everyday revolutionary activity flounders and is always threatened by a kind of what-we-can-imagine revisionism. This in turn softens it up for co-option by capitalism or the ankle tap of the little diddy Davey Cam-Cam’s parasitic and perverse Big Society. The two aren’t mutually exclusive, and you don’t say they are, I am mostly weighing them up in my head, out loud as it were. What I’m getting at, I guess (who fucking knows?), is that for myself as much as anything, part of that radical pedagogy must be an experience of the freedom of collectivity in those moments of impatience when we have the other team on the run, however fleeting. Yes there is much patient work to do before we are the type of force capable of revolution, but a fucking good riot now and again along the way is a prophetic glimpse of that force to come we are likely to get.


  5. June 11, 2012 12:13 pm

    Just picking up on a few threads here – yes, I agree with MK. I think the sort of ‘soft’ or ‘counter-hegemonic’ (as Prof. Riddle puts it) oppositional strategies – e.g. radical pedagogy – can only become really significant when they are part of (organically related to) a broader and visible movement, struggling for political power. And by this I don’t mean little anarcho-cooperatives planting cabbages and leeks on roundabouts – to draw a parallel example.

    GR mentions the counterculture. This massive and successful elaboration of oppositional culture, institutions, pedagogy, &c. was tied to: 1) the remnants of the massive 1930s workingclass movement (e.g. black struggle in the 1930s was part of this movement; CIO incorporated black workers for first time; much of the money for civil rights groups in late 50s and 60s came from unions); 2) black struggle, the civil rights and black power movements; 3) anti-war movement; 4) feminist movement. That is to say, the two things – counterculture/counter-pedagogy and movement – must come in to being together, if they are to be really successful and meaningful.

    This goes some way towards answering GRiddle’s concern that “we must be so attentive and self-critical when it comes to trying to find what is truly radical and only superficially so.” What is radical is what is “organically” related to, and useful for, a radical social movement, or what helps repoduce and elaborate an oppositional ‘structure of feeling’ related to growing dissent. This begs more questions, though, than I can find answers to here. Is cabbage planting radical? Can it ever be radical? I’m not sure; I’m not even sure that ‘radical’ is a useful term. But, what I do think is that counter-cultural/pedagogic initiatives cannot, as GRiddle puts it, be added together “to form a critical mass.” This leads us to idealism, I think, since it sees change as the result of our “initiative” and on creating the right “consciousness” amongst people. What I would say about cabbages is, growing them doesn’t connect with the really crucial existing social antagonisms. It doesn’t mobilise people en masse. It is the activism of the pottering, mumbling, marginal. It is, in a sense, a wierd mix of avant-gardism (“only we see that we must all live differently”) and luddism (soil-fetishism). Radical pedagogy must avoid the same thing (“we are the future” utopianism mixed with fetishising the marginal and disorganised).

    One more thing that this emphasis on the *relation* between counter-cultures/pedagogies and movements addresses, is the concern that “everything tends to be absorbed by capital in the end.” “Commodification” is irrelevant, and shouldn’t be fetishised as the decisive factor in attributing “radicality”. Young people consuming r & b and rock & roll in the late 1950s and 60s were connecting with a nascent dissent – breaking with ‘consensus’ politics, crossing racialised divisions in acceptable music taste and consumption, and inaugerating a dissenting counterculture with its critique of technocratic rationality, bureaucracy, alienation, consumerism (yes, the paradoxes run both ways), etc. This couldn’t be ‘absorbed’ until that movement began to crack up in the 70s and 80s – and in fact, it never really has been unequivocally absorbed. Capitalism cannot absorb opposition without generating contradictions, and in the end it is its failure to resolve these contradictions and thus absorb dissent that necessitates revolution.

    Best –

  6. Grave Riddle permalink
    June 13, 2012 10:06 am

    Yeah, I totally agree with both of your comments, but I think they are slightly aside from the point I was making about radical pedagogy. The kind of pedagogy I wad talking about is so basic it isn’t even really political, which is what I meant by education being prior to politics – it is just about giving people the basics they need in a way that empowers them and doesn’t adjust them in their very being to the rhythms of the status quo. I’m a bottoms up kind of Marxist, not an avant-gardist. This act of non-reified basic mutual education is itself of course political, in the sense it negates the existing social relations in practice, that’s why it is truly practical-critical.

    The other thing is that within my own material position in society, this I think is one of, if not the only, way to engage in truly radical, practical-critical activity. Yes I can protest and go on marches, fight the police, smash up windows, etc. But this is in a sense the idealist part I think, because we are the revolutionaries without a revolutionary class, the old Marxist stuff won’t wash anymore I don’t think, and this is the but that needs to be rethought. The working class does exist, it is massively expanded, watered down, but also intensified on an international scale. In China there is a massive concentrated old fashioned working class. What are we doing about that? They are explicitly repressed by the ruling classes. What are they doing about it? Etc.

    I just think it is crucial to take a look at ourselves, our material conditions as individuals, what we are capable of and how this ties into the wider struggle. I think the scale of the problem requires serious and patient work (and fun of course!), and if there is a new epoch on the other side, we better make it a good one. What’s the point in rushing a revolution only to replace capitalism with a new class structure? And we are only a bunch of intellectuals tossing around ideas we’ve read, trying to relate them to a bunch of experiences we’ve had, an hoping that we are on the right side and not making things worse. It’s not just up to us, if it’s gonna be socialism we all need to be in on it. Radical pedagogy doesn’t rely on an idea of permanent revolution at all, it’s aiming for the real thing. It’s just moving it all around, trying to arrange a better world from the bottom up, with as many working and non-bourgeois/aristocratic people involved as possible. The class structure isn’t so straightforward anymore, and the classes with everything to win need to work together, forge real and constructive social relations with each oter that aren’t dictated by the ruling classes.

  7. Georgia permalink
    June 14, 2012 12:15 pm

    These are some really inspiring ideas, prof Riddle. I’ve been thinking for a while I’d like to get into teaching adult literacy, but worried about the inbuilt pedagogy of the curriculum adults are taught in, say, prisons, etc. Perhaps we could all get on the dole and offer our services for free (I’d need citizenship first though!) It’s interesting how ideas of radical education (non-heirarchical, etc) are already being watered down (to say the least) and put to use for the student as satisfied customer, as in this godawful guardian article:

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