Epistemological Orphans and Childlike Play with Spaghetti: Philosophical Conditions for Transformation

Murris, Karin (2012) Epistemological Orphans and Childlike Play with Spaghetti: Philosophical Conditions for Transformation. Critical and Reflective Practice in Education, 3. ISSN 2040-4735

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This paper is a philosophical response to some critical incidents in a first year philosophy of education course at the Wits School of Education where I used to work. It is an invitation to explore the different philosophies lecturers bring to their pedagogical practice as a means to address, at a theoretical level, the conditions that make transformation possible. I will argue that the kinaesthetic activities that I have incorporated in my teaching and that I actively promote with student teachers and teachers can be regarded at one level as “childish games suitable for 4 and 5 year olds”, or at another level, as an acknowledgment of the bodily roots of thinking and all human intellect. The space we inhabit is that of an epistemological orphanage: there are no Fathers to turn to. The aim of the paper is to show how the cooked spaghetti metaphor makes it possible to justify an embodied relational pedagogy and to conclude that transformation at a deep level is made possible only when we allow ‘child’ to play and we acknowledge the pedagogical implications of reason’s ‘contamination’ by the particular, the anecdotal, the contextual and the emotions. Thinkers do not ‘have’ bodies, but ‘are’ bodies, and this perspective influences pedagogical decisions, making learning more inclusive and meaningful, especially for students from more ‘underprivileged’ backgrounds.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: knowledge, epistemology, spaghetti, tangle, dualism(s), non-dualist, modernism, postmodernism, becoming, materiality of ideas, ontological insecurity, inner space, territoriality, community of language-users, linguistic turn, nomadic subject, embodied kno
Depositing User: Ms Raisa Burton
Date Deposited: 23 Jul 2020 15:53
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2022 11:18
URI: https://marjon.repository.guildhe.ac.uk/id/eprint/17592

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