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[Xmca-l] Black Underachievement, etc.

Paul (one of the authors, who has joined the xmca to paricipate in this discussion), I want to take out just one point in your paper. You point out that the workplace relations of industrial and post-industrial capitalism are reproduced in the classrooms of those societies. This is unquestionably true. I'll go further. In a study of forms of radical organisation from 1830 to the present, I observed that the forms of organisation with which the oppressed groups and classes have directly and consciously challenged capital have also borrowed their forms from the contemporary capitalist workplaces. And even the weapons themselves actually, as well.

However, this general law that the forms of oppression and exploitation, and even the oppositional forms of activity and modes of thinking spring from the same social conditions as the relations of production, does not lead to the conclusion that *therefore* they "lack the potential for liberation" (p. 362). On the contrary actually.

In particular, I would challenge the contention that dialogical and/or constructivist forms of teaching/learning necessarily reproduce the relations of domination of postindustrial societies. I agree that your observations do make it transparent how such methods, expressive as they are of the Zeitgeist, may prove ineffective and efforts to transcend the dominant relations may easily be subverted. But that is not saying very much.

And what is the alternative? I suspect any real alternative would prove only to be an insight into emergent forms of capital accumulation (See Luc Boltanski's "New Spirit of Capitalism" for example).

Troy Richardson's tirade against CHAT (discussed on xmca in July last year) makes a similar point about dialogical methods of teaching and learning. I find it more plausible that - attractive as dialogical teaching and learning may be to us - it may be alien to indigenous and subaltern cultures (as well as industrial capitalism), and consequently cross-cultural problems may arise in unwitting application of these methods across cultural differences. But this is not your claim, is it? You are saying, I think, that dialogical teaching and learning actually contributes to the *construction* of these inequalities, and precisely because it owes it origins to the most advanced methods of thinking of our postindustrial capitalist society.

Do you have an alternative?


*Andy Blunden*

Status: O