Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Brooks Building, Room 2.52
Emeritus Professor Dennis Atkinson
Department of Educational Studies, Goldsmiths University of London
This presentation considers the relations between inheritance, disobedience and speculation in the context of art practice and pedagogical work in art education in schools and other sites of teaching and learning. In recent decades educational practices in schools, colleges and universities have been subject to a doctrinal culture of audit, standardisation and competences that invoke what Michael Hampe (2018) terms the homogenization of experience. In contrast to a culture of audit and standardisation, that tend to invoke prescribed practices, subjectivities and a known world, the presentation will consider and advocate the idea of speculative pedagogies that try to remain open to the unknown potentialities of students’ learning encounters and invent a future when such a future, a student’s learning encounter or a teacher’s practice, demands thought. The presentation will approach the notion of speculative practice in relation to the idea of disobedience that will be elaborated through contemporary art practices and then applied to pedagogical contexts and the nature of real learning. Focussing upon the relevance of how a learning encounter matters for a student and the obligations required of a teacher, the presentation moves on to consider an ethics and politics of pedagogical work through Isabelle Stengers’ notion of the cosmopolitical proposal.