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Myth in the Practice of Reason: The Production of Education and Productive Confusion


Davison, AG, Myth in the Practice of Reason: The Production of Education and Productive Confusion, Pedagogies of the Imagination: Mythopoetic Curriculum in Educational Practice, Springer, T Leonard, P Willis (ed), Dordrecht, pp. 53-63. ISBN 978-1-4020-8281-8 (2008) [Research Book Chapter]

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copyright 2008 Springer Science + Business Media B.V.

DOI: doi:10.1007/978-1-4020-8350-1_4


The pedagogies of pure reason have great power to order, direct, and accelerate linear modes of learning. Education has been transformed by this power into a science of reliable formulae, engineered curricula and measurable indicators: a science for maximizing the production and consumption of knowledge. In the process, scientific pedagogies have sought to strip myth from the world, revealing a universe in which ever less is left to the imagination. Yet, I argue, this project is itself profoundly mythic. Through an interest in nonlinear, unpredictable, and wild possibilities in learning, and drawing upon my experience as a teacher in the productivist university, I advocate not that myth be added back onto the modern curriculum, but that teachers be seen as already and always bearers of myth. When teachers step out from behind the fašade of consistency, certainty, and coherence that has taken on almost sacred importance in modern pedagogies, even for a moment, they may initiate productive forms of confusion that can bring into empathetic inquiry the myth at the core of modern reason. This is a form of transformative inquiry capable of reconstituting teaching as a craft for facilitating human encounters with a knowing reality, an eloquent reality, a good reality.

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:myth, pedagogy, phronesis, confusion, rationality
Research Division:Education
Research Group:Other education
Research Field:Other education not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Davison, AG (Associate Professor Aidan Davison)
ID Code:54162
Year Published:2008
Deposited By:Geography and Environmental Studies
Deposited On:2009-02-11
Last Modified:2014-12-16
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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