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ERIC Number: EJ1028533
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 29
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
It's a Profane Life: Giorgio Agamben on the Freedom of Im-Potentiality in Education
Lewis, Tyson Edward
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v46 n4 p334-347 2014
In this article, I explore the importance of Giorgio Agamben's theory of potentiality for rethinking education. While potentiality has been a long-standing concern for educational practitioners and theorists, Agamben's work is unique in that it emphasizes how potentiality can only be thought of in relation to impotentiality. This moment of indistinction--what I refer to as im-potential--has important implications. First, I argue that if potentiality and impotentiality are separated from one another, the result is a stratified educational system where some students are commanded to actualize their potentiality in the form of standardized tests while others are abandoned by the system. Second, thinking im-potentiality enables us to move beyond problematic formulations of learning and rediscover the uniqueness of studying. Here, I offer a brief example of study through an analysis of "Tinkering Schools", an alternative program founded by Gever Tulley in San Francisco. And finally, without a concept of im-potentiality, the discourse of the "child genius" becomes commodified as a power to be harnessed and actualized in the name of neoliberal entrepreneurialism. Only through a return to im-potentiality can we reclaim Genius and its relationship to the question of educational freedom.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A