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Myth in the practice of reason: the production of education and productive confusion

Davison, A 2008 , 'Myth in the practice of reason: the production of education and productive confusion', in T Leonard and P Willis (eds.), Leonard, T. and Willis, P. (eds), Pedagogies of the Imagination: Mythopoetic curriculum in educational practice. , Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 53-63.

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The pedagogies of pure reason have great power to order, direct, and accelerate linear modes of learning. Education has been transformed by this power into a science of reliable formulae, engineered curricula and measurable indicators: a science for maximizing the production and consumption of knowledge. In the process, scientific pedagogies have sought to strip myth from the world, revealing a universe in which ever less is left to the imagination. Yet, I argue, this project is itself profoundly mythic. Through an interest in nonlinear, unpredictable, and wild possibilities in learning, and drawing upon my experience as a teacher in the productivist university, I advocate not that myth be added back onto the modern curriculum, but that teachers be seen as already and always bearers of myth. When teachers step out from behind the façade of consistency, certainty, and coherence that has taken on almost sacred importance in modern pedagogies, even for a moment, they may initiate productive forms of confusion that can bring into empathetic inquiry the myth at the core of modern reason. This is a form of transformative inquiry capable of reconstituting teaching as a craft for facilitating human encounters with a knowing reality, an eloquent reality, a good reality.

Item Type: Book Section
Authors/Creators:Davison, A
Keywords: myth, pedagogy, phronesis, practical reason, confusion, rationality
Publisher: Springer
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