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RE: [xmca] Hedegaard article
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- Subject: RE: [xmca] Hedegaard article
- From: "White, Phillip" <Phillip.White@ucdenver.edu>
- Date: Tue, 3 Mar 2009 16:43:36 -0700
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- Thread-topic: [xmca] Hedegaard article
Jay, you wrote:
"... there are really both reciprocal influences and
multiply mediated returning loops through these networks, not
everything depends equally on everything else."
though, even teasing out the reciprocal influences is extremely difficult - perhaps impossible.
an example - i took my two grandchildren to the local contemporary arts museum, and moved from one room in which there was a great pile of heavily starched petticoats, to Damien Hirst's "Saint Sebastian, Exquisite Pain" - a ten foot by five foot by five foot glass vitrine filled with formaldehyde, in which is hung a young bullock, whose body is pierced with multiple arrows. upon viewing the petticoats, granddaughter Deva, age three and one half years, said, "What a stack!" the Hirst elicited a different final response. Deva's brother, just a little over two, looked at the bullock and said, "bunny". we all talked about what in fact the animal could be, and it was in time decided that it was a cow. Deva then declared, "Good design."
i don't for a minute believe that Deva knew what she was saying, the implications of such a statement. however, somewhere she had learned that that statement was one used in regards to artistic endeavors. how could one possibly sort out the reciprocal influences here?
you also wrote:
"It is simply not possible that educational institutions and adult
norms of behavior with children, or cultural conceptions of what is
best for them really are simply efforts to do good things for
children. They must also, and probably primarily, be serving the
interests of adults where those interests conflict with those of
children, and very likely also working to minimize the rate of radical
social and cultural change (or at least keep it well below any rate
that would threaten the interests that have been built by history into
these practices). I don't think we can honestly pursue the kind of
"childhood holistic studies" approach to development without
utlimately making a pretty radical critique of our own beliefs about
children and their education and development."
which reminded me of :
"When, with Rousseau and Pestallozzi, the eighteenth century concerned itself with constituting for the child, with educational rules that followed his development, a world that would be adapted to him, it made it possible to form around children an unreal, abstract, archaic environment that had no relation to the adult world. The whole development of contemporary education, with its irreproachable aim of preserving the child from adult conflicts, accentuates the distance that separates, for a man, his life as a child and his life as an adult. That is to say, by sparing the child conflicts, it exposes him to a major conflict, to the contradiction between his childhood and his real life. If one adds that, in its educational institutions, a culture does not project its reality directly, with all its conflicts and contradictions, but that it reflects it indirectly through the myths that excuse it, justify it, and idealize it in a chimerical coherence; if one adds that in its education a society dreams of its golden age [...] one understands that fixations and pathological regressions are possible only in a given culture, that they multiply to the extent that social forms do not permit the assimilation of the past into the present content of experience."
Michel Foucault.  (1987). Mental Illness and Psycbology. Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 81.
Mariane posits that there are six considerations when doing research with children. (p. 80) i can't imagine how all six can be sorted out. i think that the description of Halime interactions in school and family fails to account for far more than what's suggested. i don't know if we've actually got the research tools to tackle such an enormous undertaking. i admire her suggestions. i just can't imagine how such an enterprise would be undertaken. i can't even figure out Deva's comment. am i missing something here?
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