Rituals and Student Identity in Education: Ritual Critique by Richard A. Quantz

By Richard A. Quantz

An exploration of ways the nonrational features of education, specifically ritual(s), were harnessed to build a common sense which serves the pursuits of transnational companies, leaving these educators devoted to democracy to advance a brand new pedagogy that rejects the technical ideas that current reforms demand.

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Rituals and Student Identity in Education: Ritual Critique for a New Pedagogy

An exploration of ways the nonrational elements of education, particularly ritual(s), were harnessed to build a common-sense which serves the pursuits of transnational firms, leaving these educators dedicated to democracy to enhance a brand new pedagogy that rejects the technical recommendations that current reforms call for.

Additional info for Rituals and Student Identity in Education: Ritual Critique for a New Pedagogy

Sample text

The lecturer is the one doing nearly all of the talking. The student’s job is to listen carefully and (hopefully) critically and to take note of those things that are important. This very form (lecturer lecturing, student ingesting) is, of course, symbolic of a hierarchical relationship between teacher and student. It is as a symbol of hierarchy that lecture is found to be objectionable to many of us. We do not object to lecture because we think it is ineffective, but because we think it is too often effective in teaching the wrong thing—that students should be docile subordinates.

As Schechner has stated it, “These situations—arguments, combats, rites of passage— are inherently dramatic because participants not only do things, they try to show others what they are doing or have done; actions take on a ‘performed-for-an-audience’ aspect” (quoted in Turner, 1988, p. 74; emphasis in the original). The intended observation of the act is not just a by-product of the act, it is an important constitutive element of S c ho ol R i t ua l a s P e r f or m a nc e 37 the ritual. The act gains meaning, not only from the consequences of the action, but in the manner in which the action is carried out.

This very form (lecturer lecturing, student ingesting) is, of course, symbolic of a hierarchical relationship between teacher and student. It is as a symbol of hierarchy that lecture is found to be objectionable to many of us. We do not object to lecture because we think it is ineffective, but because we think it is too often effective in teaching the wrong thing—that students should be docile subordinates. By shifting our attention from the instrumental to the ritual aspects of lecturing we are able to see how politics enters into the classroom.

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