Kenneth Wain and the Lifelong Engagement with Education
10. Pedagogy as Transformative Event: Becoming Singularly Present in Context
So much of our work in education is based on the idea of transformation, that somehow through education, each of us has the opportunity to change, to alter ourselves, or to be altered in some way. But what are the conditions of this transformation? To what extent do—and can—our educational theories depict the possibility for transformation? How does the transformative potential of education actually disrupt the more formative, socialising effects of education itself? This chapter addresses these questions by exploring the idea that transformation is not just about “surface” changes in attitude or behaviour on the part of our students but is involved in a change of being in the world, or what I call “becoming present.” The chapter is exploratory rather than argumentative in tone in its attempt to sketch out an idea of transformation as an event that is fundamentally pedagogical. In its most general sense, this chapter works toward a specifically pedagogical theory of becoming, a theory that takes into account the singularity of becoming and that seeks to render the ways each of us exists in the world with others as being eminently of educational concern.
Cormac McCarthy (2007) begins his elegiac depiction of apocalyptic life in his novel, The Road, with a sense of the timelessness that haunts a world where little survives, a world that is “barren, silent and godless” (p. 2). Every night is darker, every day greyer than the one before it. The nameless main character, a father,...
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