Reflexivity and Critical Pedagogy highlights the essential nature of reflexivity in creating sites for transformative possibilities in education. The book argues that seemingly intractable epistemological inequalities are embedded within educational structures and processes and also contends that perspectives which define knowledge as a unitary truth are essentially inadequate to address current global problems. Further, it argues that people and ideas traditionally positioned outside the academy are vital to developing more effective educational interventions.
This volume stresses the influence of dominant societal discourses in creating and sustaining particular and limited definitions of knowledge. It also explores their power in delineating acceptable processes of knowledge dissemination. These discourses, whether consciously or otherwise, indwell teachers, learners and policy-makers as well as educational structures and organisations. It proposes reflexivity as the key component needed to combat such forces and one that is an essential ingredient in critical pedagogy.
The experience of death and dying has been transformed over time by significant advances in medical care and technologies from a short-term event to one that usually involves a prolonged time of slow decline from chronic degenerative conditions. The way we make sense of this modern form of protracted dying can provide essential insights into us as human beings. This chapter utilises a Foucauldian perspective to examine the processes through which the person becomes categorised, objectified and transformed into the terminally ill subject. The classification of such subjectivities can be seen to go hand in hand with the development of modern bio-power and technologies of normalisation. Interviews were carried out amongst the general population in Aotearoa/New Zealand to explore how people made sense of terminal illness and euthanasia. The data revealed constructions of death and dying that drew on discourses of quality of life and fear of a living death. The consequences of positioning the terminally ill subject within such constructions is considered in light of the way in which that will inevitably shape their understanding and experience of themselves and the world. Furthermore, the power implications of such discursive constructions are considered in light of the current euthanasia debate.
Navigating the edges of our thinking, our comfort zones, and the space between these and unexplored territories, is the essence of this chapter. Here we explore some of the ways students and faculty meet these transitions and consider how journeys through these reaches might unfold. This chapter reflects the thinking and ideas as originally addressed in the plenary panel discussion at the Biennial Threshold Concepts conference in Halifax in 2016.