This paper thinks with Todd’s (2017) ideas around ‘breathing life into education’ in relation to the curriculum area of sexuality education. It explores how this metaphor might be employed as a method for re-animating thought about the nature and purpose of sexuality education. The paper argues that sexuality education suffers from the stifling effects of instrumentalism and a neoliberal normativity that seeks to micro-manage the lives of students. Within sexuality education, this finds expression in a repetitive emphasis on reducing unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmissible infections. Confined by these foci, sexuality education’s pedagogical possibilities and transformative potential are limited. Breathing life into sexuality education offers opportunities for shaping this curriculum area as sensuous event. It also provides a life-enhancing pedagogical orientation that shifts focus from determining student’s imagined sexual futures, to attending to uncertainty in the present. Thinking with Todd’s ideas within the realm of sexuality education is an attempt to exercise their utility within a specific curriculum context. The paper also endeavours to press the metaphor of breath further, to characterise it as an act that is both mundane and profound. The implications of this conceptualisation for thinking about change in sexuality education are explored.
The essay develops a case study about a young boy playing with a toy train to address neoliberalism’s problematic discourse that depicts learning as instrumental, as something that can be caused by teaching. This paper’s perspective is enactive, taking the view that central to understanding learning is not the mind or brain working in isolation but involves the interrelationships between mind/brain, body, and world. The analysis revolves around the standing gap between teaching and learning, where navigating the gap involves a dynamic called ‘the moment of study.’ Three of Tyson Lewis’s ideas about study—body gesture, time, and play—are used to explain the moment of study. The paper argues that a learner traverses the gap between teaching and learning through a body gesture of hesitation, during which there is a temporal turning away from the familiar and towards new possibilities. Traversing the gap occurs through the risk of improvisational play, propelling a forward movement in the face of not knowing how to go on. This depiction of such traversing, shown to be central to the activity of learning, undermines the causal account of learning associated with neoliberalism.
Philosophy for Children (henceforth P4C) is a program and a pedagogy for teaching philosophy in k-12 school that was first developed by Matthew Lipman and Ann Margaret Sharp. The P4C approach is generally presented as a valuable form of education for democratic citizenship. This relationship is so obvious that it often remains underdeveloped: P4C is constructed with the goal of developing children to be critical thinkers and to know how to dialogue with others, which are also hallmarks of what is wanted in the citizens of our democracies. The objective of this article is to explore and deepen this connection by analyzing how it has been developed in the literature of the P4C movement. What emerges from this study is that there are differences of opinions as to why P4C is an appropriate kind of education for democracy. From the texts analyzed, three pedagogies stood out in that regard: Deweyan pedagogy, critical pedagogy, and pedagogy of interruption. I analyze the different visions of P4C as a democratic education in each of these, present the different criticisms they offer to P4C in that regard, and propose how P4C may answer these criticisms. I conclude with the importance of practitioners being aware of the different perspectives that encompass P4C concerning its role for education for democratic citizenship.
This essay explores the possibility that a particular type of video game—real-time strategy games—could have worrisome educational impacts. In order to make this case, I will develop a theoretical framework originally advanced by French social critic Paul Virilio. In two key texts, Speed and Politics (1977) and “The Aesthetics of Disappearance” (1984), Virilio maintains that society is becoming “dromocratic” – determined by and obsessed with speed. Extending Virilio’s analysis, I will argue that the frenetic, ruthless environment of real-time strategy games may promote an accelerated, hypermodern way of thinking about the world that focuses unduly on efficiency.
In their study of curriculum, teacher candidates often witness the pitfalls of Eurocentric curricula. This critical awareness of hidden biases is vital in a pluralistic society that is only now recognizing its colonial history. Indigenous communities are making bold strides in decolonizing their schools. Their notable efforts instantiate many forms of resistance to Eurocentrism in education. At the same time, there are examples in which marginalized groups seize the cultural goods of a dominant culture and assert their voice through the words of a canonized text. In this essay, I reflect on a modern interpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone and consider its relevance to curriculum studies.