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. The role of what Jacotot called explication 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. Jacotot's method 'was above all a method of the will.' At this stage of the book we begin to realise how radical this vision is. It is easy to pick holes in this argument.
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