Posts Tagged ‘Kant’

Students don´t want to learn anymore … (Michael Brendan Dougherty)

9 April 2017

twitter: @eugenio_fouz

I came across this article weeks ago by means of a tweet with a link tweeted by Claudio Ortega (@clorgu). The text shows another side we might have forgotten on education and its focus. Thanks to both, the author and the messenger :.-


article written by Michael Brendan Dougherty:

Students don’t want to learn anymore. They want to teach.

Michael Brendan Dougherty [@michaelbd on Twitter]

-via Jan. 10th, 2017

“The student union at the University of London School of Oriental and African Studies made headlines with their proposal to “de-colonize” their institution. In the brash headlines of the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph, it was students demanding to remove Plato and Kant “because they are white.

The English tabloids aren’t wrong.

After demanding that at least the majority of the philosophers studied come from the Global South, the student manifesto says, “If white philosophers are required, then teach their work from a critical standpoint. For example, acknowledging the colonial context in which so called ‘Enlightenment’ philosophers wrote.” School is much easier for students when they teach the professors and not vice versa.

Unfortunately, the students don’t seem to know anything. There’s something anachronistic and flattening about grouping all philosophers who lived on the European continent “white,” a racial identity that had little or no salience to most of them while they lived, worked, and wrote. Or, at least, it didn’t have the meaning it would by the end of the colonial period.

It’s also reductive to define the intellectual output of an entire continent primarily by the power relations that existed for a few centuries between a handful of colonizing states. The white English philosopher Roger Scruton responded to the student union’s response dismissively, asking what precisely is the colonial context for understanding Kant’s “Critique of Pure Reason.”

The spasms of student attempts at “decolonization” are almost always ill-conceived. Last year Yale students petitioned the English department to “decolonize” themselves, announcing that it was “unacceptable” for the Major English Poets Sequence to feature so many white male authors, like Keats, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, Pope, and Milton.

There’s something adorably naive about expecting the major poets of a language that was primarily spoken in one section of one island for half a millennium to be representative of all global voices. No one makes this demand of literature in other languages. We don’t expect to find Welsh, Brazilian, or Caribbean voices among the major Polish language poets.

Maybe naive isn’t the word. In fact it is the modern English major demanding a “diverse” set of voices in English literature that has become the caricature of the colonialist. It is the petitioning students who shout from their privileged position at the diverse world, “Speak English to me, please.”

If students really want to encounter classical poetry produced by non-whites, they have options. They can study the relative handful of languages that produced significant literature before the modern period. Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Chinese, and Urdu come to mind. These are all worthy subjects crying out for more scholarship.

But there’s a catch. And it is what catches our activists out. Studying an ancient language to discover non-white voices is challenging and requires real work. You cannot pass the final exams just by repeating a number of fashionable political slogans. And perhaps activist students do not study these languages because they correctly suspect they won’t find much written in these languages that qualifies as politically correct by the standards of 2017. In fact, you will find in these literatures exactly the kind of messages that activists least like to hear. Lessons like: Humble yourself and mortify your ambitions.

Perhaps it is the students themselves who should have their views “interrogated” and their discourse of power deconstructed. The activist-student is engaged in a power grab. He wishes to delegitimize the power of professors and even the school itself. That is why the activist student defines knowledge itself as a form of malicious participation in an unjust power system. And he does so because this is the only way of dignifying his own ignorance. It is also the only way that he might shame an academic institution into creating a new administrative role for his kind of sloganeering.

In a real sense, the modern student activist is a kind of shallow theologian. He learns a political catechism, he identifies a scapegoat, and he enacts a ritualized sacrifice of a victim-group, in order to redeem himself and give some dint of credibility to his priestcraft.

Schools put up with this for the money. But why do we?”


Read the original version here:

“Panfleto Antipedagógico” (Ricardo Moreno Castillo)

30 September 2016

twitter: @eugenio_fouz


He vuelto a leer el panfleto de Ricardo Moreno. Sigue teniendo vigencia en muchos aspectos. Lectura recomendable para profesores inquietos. Contiene dosis de sentido común y mucha filosofía.

Copio literalmente (ad pedem litterae) un extracto del libro que trata sobre la motivación del alumnado:

“la inteligencia para aprender es muy temprana, pero la madurez necesaria para comprender lo importante que es aprender es muy tardía. Si esperamos a que tenga esa madurez para enseñarle, los mecanismos de aprendizaje se habrán deteriorado tanto como el estómago de un niño a quien se ha dejado comer lo que le apetecía cuando le apetecía. Por eso siempre es difícil enseñar”

En el texto se habla del conocido caso de Helen Keller y su institutriz Anne Sullivan, de la disciplina, la pedagogía, Kant, los griegos, la filosofía, Savater y Unamuno, pedagogía y educación. El panfleto antipedagógico de Ricardo merece relecturas. Fue publicado por la editorial “El lector universal” en 2006.

Los grandes maestros, los que de verdad enseñan cosas a sus alumnos y dejan huella en ellos, son los exigentes, porque para contentarlos no solo hay que trabajar, sino que hay que hacerlo bien.” …

si un dentista me hace un estropicio en la boca, pero es una buena persona y vecino de mi barrio, puede ser que no lo denuncie, y me limite a buscar otro. Ahora bien, un profesional no puede confiar indefinidamente en la paciencia de sus clientes, y resulta que los alumnos de hoy están tan mal acostumbrado que casi consideran un derecho que la última asignatura se les tiene que aprobar por la cara

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