Thesis

Cracking open pedagogy: Learning 'in' intense environments

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Abstract

What if a purpose of pedagogy was to create environments where intense experiences of learning can occur? This research is an inquiry into how affect-intense pedagogies work and the work that they do. It focuses on pedagogic affect as produced in the situated, sociomaterial practices of three more-than-human environments that create the conditions for intense learning to occur—an outdoor sculpture event in the Hauraki Gulf (Aotearoa New Zealand), a Zombie Apocalypse Survival Course at a human pathology museum (Sydney, Australia), and a fight squad at a Taekwondo club (Melbourne, Australia). What transpires is a multi-site ethnographic case study of pedagogic affect in which I engage with empirical material through a combination of conventional and experimental approaches, whereby arts-based practices act to enliven research(er) thinking-doing. In this space between convention and invention, a Deleuzian inspired rhizo-cartography unfolds. Pedagogic practices are ‘found’ to occupy in-between spaces or ‘cracks’ that produce affect-intensive learning encounters. These practices and encounters are recast as constituting a minor pedagogy which is, in turn, imbricated in a Spinozist ethics of affirmation as taken up by Deleuze and Braidotti. Pedagogy that enacts an affirmative ethics is conceptualised as being inextricably connected to practices that increase the affective capacity of learner-bodies. In this inquiry, pedagogies that cultivate the capacity to affect and be affected involve stepping into a crack, where tinkering, experimenting, (un)knowing and caring take place through an approach that blends critique and creativity. I propose that creating the conditions for minor pedagogies to flourish in everyday learning encounters can generate affirmative change in all kinds of ordinary, localised contexts – schools, community sites and elsewhere – that create the conditions to learn intensely. Full thesis available for download from the University of Melbourne's digital repository http://hdl.handle.net/11343/230614

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... The notion of pedagogies of response-ability shifts the focus from what pedagogies mean, their various representations (e.g., signature pedagogy, critical pedagogy, affective pedagogy) to what they do, their performative effects, including their transformative capability, or not. The work that pedagogies do emerges with/in distributed networks and assemblages, relocating pedagogy from human individuals to a relational space in and between moving bodies and things and ideas (Healy 2019). Given its humanistic inclinations, this space has traditionally been marginalised within education, considered of little consequence, certainly in western education. ...
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