Occupy: a new pedagogy of space and time?

Neary, Mike and Amsler, Sarah (2012) Occupy: a new pedagogy of space and time? Journal for Critical Education Policy Studies, 10 (2). ISSN 2051-0959

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This paper forms the first part of a project of inquiry to understand the theoretical and practical potentials of Occupy through the recent wave of occupations that have emerged in response to the politics of austerity and precarity around the world. We do this as educators who are seeking to ‘occupy’ spaces of higher education inside and outside of the institutions in which we work.
Occupy points to the centrality of space and time as practical concepts through which it is possible to reconfigure revolutionary activity. By dealing with the concept (Occupy) at this fundamental level of space and time through a critical engagement with Henri Lefebvre’s notion of ‘a new pedagogy of space and time’, we hope to open spaces for further revolutionary transformation by extending a critique of the politics of space and time into the institutions and idea of education itself.
Lefebvre considers the ‘pedagogy of space and time’ as a basis for a new form of ‘counter-space’. He suggests that ‘deviant or diverted spaces, though initially subordinate, show distinct evidence of a true productive capacity’ (2008: 383), and in doing so reveal the breaking points of everyday life and the ways in which it might be appropriated as exuberant spaces full of enjoyment and hope. In the Production of Space, he identifies the space of leisure as a site within which such a resistance might be contemplated and activated. In our work we replace the principle of leisure with the concept of Occupy. We consider here how attempts to occupy the university curriculum, not as a programme of education but as the production of critical knowledge, may also constitute ‘a new pedagogy of space and time’. We will describe this occupation of higher education with reference to two projects with which we are involved Student as Producer and the Social Science Centre, the former at the University of Lincoln, and the latter across the city of Lincoln.
This paper will explore the significance of the current Occupations movement for the reinvention of teaching and learning in higher education. The first part of the paper will explore some of the theories and pedagogical practices that underlie the educational dimensions of the occupations. The second part of the paper will offer illustrations of projects that are confronting similar issues in higher education. The projects are Student as Producer and the Social Science Centre, both located in the city of Lincoln, with which the authors are involved. We conclude by suggesting that while the concept and practice of occupation contributes much to the ongoing debate about the meaning and future of higher education, it can be further radicalized by emphasising Occupy1s inherent dynamic sensibility. We define this radicalized dynamic sensibility as a new ‘pedagogy of space and time’ (Lefebvre 1990).

Keywords:Critical pedagogy, resistance, student protest, radical university, bmjoaj
Subjects:L Social studies > L310 Applied Sociology
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
L Social studies > L150 Political Economics
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
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ID Code:6509
Deposited On:09 Oct 2012 15:37

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