Insurgent Pedagogy, Unlearning, Tinkerers & Radicals in the Classroom

Yes..I know Giroux, Friere, Halberstam, etc etc… I know for a fact that I’m standing on the shoulders–stepping on the toes–of better pedagogues. And don’t you dare start with “have you read the lit. on (insert blah book on teaching & learning)”… this is a rant…know and respect the genre.

Today I openly declare my allegiance to pedagogical insurgency, to unlearning, to methodological radicalism

…EVERYTHING that I learned through the dominant method of teaching left my head moments after I left undergrad–it is gone. Little nodes and neurons unconnected and lost in a sea of note jumbles and short answer essays. It makes me nauseous to think about how many years I spent perfecting “doing college classroom” only to have it result in … nothing.

I espouse active learning processes in direct critique of the dominant system….I do not seek to replicate them. And…I won’t replicate because … (well partially because if you are like me you have a defiance disorder)… but also because when I replicate the dominant pedagogical method, I am–by definition–reinforcing a system of learning that they already have already mastered. Voila…no real learning is happening…nice job there…

From this day forward I vow to help my students unlearn “classroom” and move them toward the development of useful mechanisms of learning. I will not shiver at the lowered eyebrows of review committees … I won’t let the fear mongering of wimpy-ass pseudo-psychologizmoid bureaucratic preaching about triggers, sensitivity, and insipid pluralism talk me out of radical pedagogy. You’re boring…I’m so bored I can’t even muster interest. I will not “nice” my way through a semester–I will shock, manipulate, jostle, unnerve, and blow the minds of my students–and I can because I take the time to learn how to do so…that’s why professors study pedagogy, it is a technique.

I want to walk the knife’s edge of blowing out the doors … because I care about them, about the people they are becoming, and I want to stretch their minds…make them powerful adaptive creatures who can handle dissonance; help them become creatures who embrace, build, and shape their own wicked, colorful, and vicious harmonies…rather than flaccid whimpering whispering pseudo-liberal niceties.

ALL dominant systems (even if they are the ones that you think are the most just, ethical, and stable) MUST be broken, burned, dissected, tinkered with, painted red, smuggled, smoked, and devoured with every part of our being. Welcome to humanhood. Parents keep out.

–insurgent pedagogue