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[Xmca-l] Black Underachievement, etc.
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- Subject: [Xmca-l] Black Underachievement, etc.
- From: Andy Blunden <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Fri, 1 Nov 2013 20:07:13 +1100
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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
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?