'By ones and twos and tens': pedagogies of possibility for higher education

Amsler, Sarah (2013) 'By ones and twos and tens': pedagogies of possibility for higher education. In: Seminar, May 2013, Newcastle.


Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Speech)
Item Status:Live Archive


This paper concerns the relationship between teaching and political action both within and outside of formal educational institutions in the UK. The context of this relationship is the recent period following the Browne Review on the funding of higher education in England (2010). Rather than speaking directly to debates around scholar-activism, about which much has already been written (Autonomous Geographies Collective 2010; Haworth 2012; Thornton and Maiguashca 2006), I want to stretch the meanings of both teaching and activism. The purpose is to contextualise the politics of contemporary higher learning in light of the diverse histories and geographies of critical education more generally, and to think about the relationship between critical knowledge that is produced within and for the university and that which is produced in other spaces, particularly informal educational projects. My primary interest is the sorts of learning that are cultivated in projects working on principles of ‘prefigurative politics’ in the UK and internationally. My argument is that some of the knowledge which is most needed to fight for the university as a progressive social institution is being produced not within the institution’s physical and conceptual walls, but in more informal and politicised spaces of education. Being receptive to these alternative forms not only can expand scholarly thinking about how to reclaim intellectual life from the economy, but can emancipate the imagination which is required for dreaming big about the creation of higher education as and for democratic life.

Keywords:the university, higher education, popular education, politics of education, prefigurative politics, pedagogy of possibility
Subjects:L Social studies > L370 Social Theory
X Education > X342 Academic studies in Higher Education
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Education
ID Code:9531
Deposited On:19 May 2013 18:32

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