Journal of Educational Controversy - Article: What If Democracy Really Matters? What If Democracy Really Matters?
Claudia Ruitenberg University of British Columbia What if. . . What if, in order to examine the phrase schooling as if democracy matters in North America, we—scholars and readers—turn not to the more obvious American theorists of democracy and schooling, such as John Dewey or, more recently, deliberative theorists such as Amy Gutmann or critical theorists such as Peter McLaren, but to the French radical philosopher of democracy Jacques Rancière? What if Rancière compels us to think quite differently, even controversially, about democracy? . . . equality? The logic of the “what if” is at the heart of Rancière’s philosophy, particularly in the form ”what if equality?” It is true that we don’t know that men are equal. If “men” might be equal, what happens if they are treated as such? What if equality, instead, were to provide the point of departure? In his 2002 Afterword to The Philosopher and His Poor Rancière writes in even stronger terms: Schooling vs.
Jacques Rancière: The Ignorant Schoolmaster, the Non-Philosopher, and the Speculative Realist. Representation: On The Ignorant Schoolmaster. A certain toddler adds notes to my book.
“We can thus dream of a society of the emancipated that would be a society of artists. Such a society would repudiate the division between those who know and those who don’t, between those who possess or don’t possess the property of intelligence.” — Jacques Rancière, The Ignorant Schoolmaster, (1991) Recently I finished reading "The Ignorant Schoolmaster" by the French philosopher Jacques Ranciere. Despite having some reservations about confronting another French descendant of the Heideggerian line, I actually found the book immensely thought provoking and almost entirely accessible. Indeed it was heartening to read: “Man is a being that knows very well when someone speaking doesn’t know what he is talking about.” Ignorant Teachers, Ignorant Students: Jacotot and Ranciere in the Art School. Ignorant Teachers, Ignorant Students: Jacotot and Rancière in the Art School This is an interesting moment in education generally and, for the purposes of this essay,art education in particular.
We are living and working through a period increasinglydominated by the concepts of ‘knowledge transfer’ or ‘knowledge exchange’ within amass education system that attracts a student body characterised by extraordinary ignorance . Quite apart from the fact that on many areas of art education the heaviestwork load falls upon those responsible for study skills support (a different issue), there isan acceptance among a substantial number of teachers that a very large proportion of new(and not so new) undergraduate students are alarmingly ill-informed as regards not onlywhat might, perhaps tendentiously, be called ‘general knowledge’, but also their ownspecific practice. Own knowledge. Knowledgeable Ignorance. Libertarian Education - The Ignorant Schoolmaster.
The Ignorant Schoolmaster Stefan Szczelkun In his book, The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Jacques Rancière sets out the radical theory that is the core of most of his later work and is based on his archive discovery of the works of Joseph Jacotot (1770 - 1840).
What follows here is an edited version of the first chapter of Stefan Szczelkun's summary of the book. In 1818 Joseph Jacotot, a 48-year-old lecturer in French literature, discovered the principle of what he called 'universal teaching' - that 'anyone can teach what they don't know'.
He got a job teaching French to Flemish students when he himself didn't speak Flemish. Ignorant Schoolmaster - Studyplace. From Studyplace Joseph Jacotot (1770-1840) Jacotot was a French instructor who taught subjects as far-ranging as French, literature, mathematics, ideology and law (p. 1).
He had a profound realization one time when he had to teach a group of Flemish students French. Since he didn’t know Flemish himself, he had the challenge of teaching these students French. Explication The conventional view of the teacher’s (or master’s, as Rancière calls it), is to “explicate”. Emancipation Rancière distinguishes between two human traits: intelligence and will. Ignorance Rancière argues that the “Socratic Method” is a perfected form of stultification, where the role of the Master is to interrogate (demand speech) and verify that intelligence is done with attention (p. 29). The ignorant schoolmaster does not verify what the student has found, only that the student has searched (p. 31).
Intelligence Most people become stultified because they believe in their inferiority (p. 39). Will Language. The Ignorant Schoolmaster by Jacques Rancière 1981. The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation by Jacques Rancière 1981 - a chapter by chapter summary followed by extra remarks relating to my own work.
Peppered by my comments - in green Rancière sets out the radical theory that is the core of most of his later work and if understood correctly is not able to be adopted by the Art world institutions that now find Ranciere fashionable. It is based on his archive discovery of the works of Joseph Jacotot (1770 - 1840). Chapter 1 An Intellectual Adventure In 1818 Joseph Jacotot a 48 year old lecturer in French literature discovered the principle of 'universal teaching'. The role of 'explication' in general struck him with a life changing force. "The revelation that came to Joseph Jacotot amounts to this: the logic of the explicative system had to be overturned.
At this stage of the book the book we begin to realise how radical this vision is. It is easy to nit pick this argument.