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Learning Relations

Impure Education, Deschooled Schools, and Dialogue with Evil


Alexander M. Sidorkin

This book develops an educational theory centered around the notion of relation. Alexander M. Sidorkin defines learning as the production of useless things and shows that problems of learning motivation are more institutional than individual or cultural. He then argues that contemporary mass schools are difficult to manage. The solution to the resulting authority crisis is not in the restoration of authority, but in the pedagogy of relation. The key to learning motivation is in what Sidorkin describes as «economy of relations,» a mechanism where personal relations between students and teachers are converted into relations involving curriculum. In order to remain a viable social institution, schools must become hybrid organizations that combine features of a regular school and a neighborhood club, giving teachers should have ample opportunity to build strong relations with and among students.