Studies in Philosophy and Education 30 (2):211-223 (2011)

In recent years the French philosopher Jacques Rancière has addressed the predicament of artists and curators who, in their eagerness to convey a critical message or engage their viewers in an emancipatory process, end up predetermining the outcomes of the experience, hence blocking its critical or emancipatory potential. In this essay I consider Rancière’s writing on this topic and draw out the parallels with the predicament of teachers and curriculum designers who have critical and emancipatory objectives. The risk of education that strives for emancipation is that it can become so directive in steering students to the “right” outcomes that it does not leave these students any intellectual room. Rancière’s work is helpful in reminding us that teachers and curricula with explicitly critical, political, emancipatory objectives can defeat their own purposes and become stultifying if they do not leave the student room to use her or his own intelligence.
Keywords Art  Relational aesthetics  Spectatorship  Emancipation  Pedagogical relation  Intelligence
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DOI 10.1007/s11217-010-9216-5
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Witnessing Deconstruction in Education: Why Quasi-Transcendentalism Matters.Gert Biesta - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (3):391-404.
Under the Name of Method: On Jacques Rancière's Presumptive Tautology.Charles Bingham - 2009 - Journal of Philosophy of Education 43 (3):405-420.

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