Learning to love again: loss, self study, pedagogy and women's studies

Bride, Kate (Catherine Elizabeth) (2009) Learning to love again: loss, self study, pedagogy and women's studies. Doctoral (PhD) thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

This thesis is about foundational logic that shapes knowledge-making practices, subjectivity, and pedagogy in the disciplines of both education and women's studies. Some of these foundations in education include conceptualizations of the teacher as hero, the student as receptacle for knowledge, and prescriptive, standardized curriculum. In women's studies, some of these foundations include fixed understandings of sisterhood, experience, and the category woman. These foundations can be problematic because they function to singularize, set meaning, and stabilize knowledge, identity and pedagogy, and, they foreclose the possibility of a deeper and more complex understanding of the self and the other. -- With the emergence of postmodern and poststructural theories that recognize knowledge and identity as products of cultural construction, the truth of foundations has been, and continues to be, called into question. As such, we are faced with uncertainty about a future that is uncomfortable and disruptive of those foundations that have and continue to orient us in our academic disciplines. I argue that with these disruptions there is an increased need to face the losses that come with the uncertainty and unsettlement of crumbling meta-narratives; in other words, to make loss central to pedagogy. Letting loss orient pedagogy is a practice that attempts to interrogate the effects of projects of schooling on normative knowledge-making practices, the making of subjects and the workings of power. The central problem that I grapple with throughout these chapters, then, is attachment to foundations, how those form who and how we can be, and what it means to face the losses of those foundations. -- Through the theoretical lenses of poststructural and psychoanalytic thought, my approach to this thesis is, in part, what I am referring to as a pedagogical self study. While I am inquiring after the ways foundations work in education and in women's studies, I am also exploring and questioning my own attachments to foundations in education (what it means to be a teacher) and in women's studies - where they come from and how they structure my understandings of teaching and learning. The central themes of this thesis will address foundational truths in education and women's studies, attachment, loss, mourning, melancholia and pedagogy.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral (PhD))
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9192
Item ID: 9192
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 174-183).
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Education--Aims and objectives; Feminism and education; Postmodernism and education; Womens studies--Philosophy

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