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Thursday, June 23 • 13:45 - 14:45
PK07.14a - The [Not So] Hidden Language of Power and Exclusion

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As teachers we do a lot of talking. Whatever our contexts we explain, describe, clarify, explicate, present, and rationalize. For many of us, we learn our ‘teacher talk’ from the modeling of teachers who guided us through our own educational paths. As innocuous as this may be we need to consider several interrelated issues. Firstly, this process may have been so commonsense and seamless that we may not reflect on the ramifications of teaching the way we were taught. Secondly, commonsense practices might also reflect deeply rooted assumptions that sustain relationships that do not serve the educative process or thriving human encounters. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, normative language can function as coded language that appears inclusive and yet serves to exclude.

Pedagogical engagements that disconnect us from acts of humanity and grace and the development of self, fuel ideological aims that ensure competition, domination, and superiority. To be sure, this also suggests an interrogation of pedagogical engagements that have been, as Arendt (1998) suggests, “uncritically and slavishly accepted” (p. 179). Progressive tenets, for instance, such as “student-centered learning” can also serve to cloak instructional strategies that in actuality control and isolate the learner from the development of self by denying plurality and the space of appearance.

In this lightning talk I will address the ways in which our words as teachers are too often used to “veil intentions [rather than] to disclose realities,” and our engagements with students too often used to “violate and destroy [rather than] to establish relations and create new realities” (Arendt, 1958, p. 200). With the goal of using this format to represent, confront, and shift ideological discourse, I will incorporate images and texts that represent ways of teaching that are striking in their banality and strategies that uncover and shift the epistemological space.

avatar for Cathy Benedict

Cathy Benedict

Director of Research Don Wright Faculty of Music, University of Western Ontario
Cathy Benedict's (Assistant Professor and Director of Research Don Wright Faculty of Music at UWO) scholarly interests lay in facilitating educative environments in which students take on the perspective of a justice-oriented citizen. To this end her research agenda focuses on the... Read More →

Thursday June 23, 2016 13:45 - 14:45 EDT
Weldon Library 258