ERIC Number: EJ1007206
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Reference Count: 31
Recentering Pedagogy in an Age of Narcissism
Watters, Ann O.
Journal of General Education, v62 n1 p52-66 2013
One of the most enduring images from Wilson's "The Social Conquest of Earth" (2012) is the campfire, the place of warmth and community around which gathered early humankind. It seems an ideal metaphor for teaching and learning, with mentors and learners gathered around an enterprise of mutual society: No one at the core, but all warmed and enlightened by it; some stoke the fire, others bring fuel to refresh it; still others catch or grow the food to cook with it, or stand guard to contain it, or keep the youngsters safe around it; but all potentially share in the warmth and safety--in the reciprocal altruism and shared preservation of self and community and the history and collective wisdom of the society. Yet, when considering the notion of pedagogy and scholarly communities, what a contrast this image is to the reported epidemic of narcissism in American society and particularly among college students. Shifts in society generally and colleges more specifically require closer inspection of such trends, and yet it can be challenging for universities to hold the mirror up to themselves. Educators should claim appropriate authority, discourage inappropriate entitlement, and encourage empathy, service to others, and decentered perspectives.
Descriptors: Figurative Language, Recreational Activities, Heat, Safety, Altruism, Preservation, Negative Attitudes, Self Esteem, College Students, Empathy, Educational Environment, Cultural Context, Social Status, Group Dynamics, Responsibility, Sharing Behavior, Sustainability, Learning Processes, Teaching Methods, Long Term Memory, Short Term Memory, Value Judgment, Work Experience, Expertise, Constructivism (Learning), Student Centered Curriculum, Outcomes of Education, Epistemology, Commercialization
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
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