Education in the realm of the senses: Understanding Paulo Freire's aesthetic unconscious through Jacques Rancière

Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (2):285-299 (2009)
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In this article I re-examine the role that aesthetics play in Paulo Freire's pedagogy of the oppressed. As opposed to the vast majority of scholarship in this area, I suggest that aesthetics play a more centralised role in pedagogy above and beyond arts-based curricula. To help clarify Freire's position, I will argue that underlying the linguistic resolution of the student/teacher dialectic in the problem-posing classroom is an accompanying shift in the very aesthetics of recognition. In order to demonstrate the always already aesthetic nature of all education, I will turn to the aesthetic philosophy of Jacques Rancière. Through Rancière we can begin to understand how the pedagogy of the oppressed is predicated on an aesthetic redistribution of the sensible, of what can be seen and what can be heard. As Rancière will confirm, if we truly want to understand the aesthetics of pedagogy, we cannot simply see aesthetics as external to teaching and learning. Rather, education as an aesthetic event has to be taken seriously, and aesthetics should regain primacy in discussions of critical pedagogy.



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Citations of this work

The Future of the Image in Critical Pedagogy.Tyson E. Lewis - 2010 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 30 (1):37-51.
Initiating 'The Methodology of Jacques Rancière': How Does it All Start?Duncan P. Mercieca - 2012 - Studies in Philosophy and Education 31 (4):407-417.
Rancière, music, and the musicality of teaching.Johannes Rytzler - 2023 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 57 (3):678-694.

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References found in this work

Pedagogy of the oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1986 - In David J. Flinders & Stephen J. Thornton (eds.), The Curriculum Studies Reader. Routledge.
Pedagogy of the Oppressed.Paulo Freire - 1970 - New York: Bloomsbury Academic. Edited by Myra Bergman Ramos, Donaldo P. Macedo & Ira Shor.
On the shores of politics.Jacques Rancière - 1995 - London: Verso. Edited by Liz Heron.

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