Language, experience and professional learning (what Walter Benjamin can teach us)
Doecke, Brenton and Pereira, Iris Susana Pires 2012, Language, experience and professional learning (what Walter Benjamin can teach us), Changing english : studies in culture and education, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 269-281.
This essay raises questions about how language educators might construct and further develop their epistemology of practice in and through the situations in which they work from day to day. The occasion for this paper is our work as guest editors of a special issue of L-1: Educational Studies in Language and Literature, when we invited L1 teachers to reflect on the role that language plays in their professional learning, whether it be in the form of conversations with peers, reflective writing, or by other means. We begin this essay by locating our reflections within our current policy context, namely the standards-based reforms that have come to dominate educational thinking around the world, offering a brief critique of the values and attitudes embedded within them. We then outline a philosophical framework as an alternative to the world-view reflected by such reforms, focusing specifically on the work of Walter Benjamin. In the final sections, we review our work as guest editors of the special issue of L-1, reflecting on what we have learned from the papers we have assembled for this issue, and locating our learning within the philosophical framework that we have drawn from Benjamin. We argue that it is timely for language educators to articulate the assumptions that inhere within their work, in contradistinction to the common sense embedded in standards. Thus we might begin to reconceptualise the relation between language, experience and professional learning in opposition to the hegemony of standards.
Field of Research
130204 English and Literacy Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl LOTE, ESL and TESOL)
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