Minimal Utopianism in the Classroom

Emile Bojesen, Judith Suissa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In this paper we build on recent work on the role of the “utopian pedagogue” to explore how utopian thinking can be developed within contemporary higher education institutions. In defending a utopian orientation on the part of HE lecturers, we develop the notion of “minimal utopianism”; a notion which, we suggest, expresses the difficult position of critical educators concerned to offer their students the tools with which to imagine and explore alternatives to current social and political reality, while acknowledging the contingent ethical constraints of the system within which they and their students are working. While agreeing with utopian theorists such as Darren Webb who have defended the need for “blueprint utopias” in education in the face of the reduction of the idea of utopia to a purely process-oriented pedagogy, our focus here is on the prior educational task of providing the conceptual and communicative tools for utopian thinking to emerge. The collaborative nature of this paper is reflected in the interdisciplinary sources on which we draw in developing our ideas, including moral philosophy, literary theory, political philosophy, anarchist theory and utopian studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)286-297
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Philosophy and Theory
Volume51
Issue number3
Early online date14 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 23 Feb 2019

Keywords

  • anarchism
  • assessment
  • higher education
  • pedagogy
  • Utopia

Cite this

Bojesen, Emile ; Suissa, Judith. / Minimal Utopianism in the Classroom. 2019 ; Vol. 51, No. 3. pp. 286-297.
@article{acc3dac8e416413a8d167c0a39bbfef3,
title = "Minimal Utopianism in the Classroom",
abstract = "In this paper we build on recent work on the role of the “utopian pedagogue” to explore how utopian thinking can be developed within contemporary higher education institutions. In defending a utopian orientation on the part of HE lecturers, we develop the notion of “minimal utopianism”; a notion which, we suggest, expresses the difficult position of critical educators concerned to offer their students the tools with which to imagine and explore alternatives to current social and political reality, while acknowledging the contingent ethical constraints of the system within which they and their students are working. While agreeing with utopian theorists such as Darren Webb who have defended the need for “blueprint utopias” in education in the face of the reduction of the idea of utopia to a purely process-oriented pedagogy, our focus here is on the prior educational task of providing the conceptual and communicative tools for utopian thinking to emerge. The collaborative nature of this paper is reflected in the interdisciplinary sources on which we draw in developing our ideas, including moral philosophy, literary theory, political philosophy, anarchist theory and utopian studies.",
keywords = "anarchism, assessment, higher education, pedagogy, Utopia",
author = "Emile Bojesen and Judith Suissa",
year = "2019",
month = "2",
day = "23",
doi = "10.1080/00131857.2018.1472576",
language = "English",
volume = "51",
pages = "286--297",
number = "3",

}

Minimal Utopianism in the Classroom. / Bojesen, Emile; Suissa, Judith.

Vol. 51, No. 3, 23.02.2019, p. 286-297.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Minimal Utopianism in the Classroom

AU - Bojesen, Emile

AU - Suissa, Judith

PY - 2019/2/23

Y1 - 2019/2/23

N2 - In this paper we build on recent work on the role of the “utopian pedagogue” to explore how utopian thinking can be developed within contemporary higher education institutions. In defending a utopian orientation on the part of HE lecturers, we develop the notion of “minimal utopianism”; a notion which, we suggest, expresses the difficult position of critical educators concerned to offer their students the tools with which to imagine and explore alternatives to current social and political reality, while acknowledging the contingent ethical constraints of the system within which they and their students are working. While agreeing with utopian theorists such as Darren Webb who have defended the need for “blueprint utopias” in education in the face of the reduction of the idea of utopia to a purely process-oriented pedagogy, our focus here is on the prior educational task of providing the conceptual and communicative tools for utopian thinking to emerge. The collaborative nature of this paper is reflected in the interdisciplinary sources on which we draw in developing our ideas, including moral philosophy, literary theory, political philosophy, anarchist theory and utopian studies.

AB - In this paper we build on recent work on the role of the “utopian pedagogue” to explore how utopian thinking can be developed within contemporary higher education institutions. In defending a utopian orientation on the part of HE lecturers, we develop the notion of “minimal utopianism”; a notion which, we suggest, expresses the difficult position of critical educators concerned to offer their students the tools with which to imagine and explore alternatives to current social and political reality, while acknowledging the contingent ethical constraints of the system within which they and their students are working. While agreeing with utopian theorists such as Darren Webb who have defended the need for “blueprint utopias” in education in the face of the reduction of the idea of utopia to a purely process-oriented pedagogy, our focus here is on the prior educational task of providing the conceptual and communicative tools for utopian thinking to emerge. The collaborative nature of this paper is reflected in the interdisciplinary sources on which we draw in developing our ideas, including moral philosophy, literary theory, political philosophy, anarchist theory and utopian studies.

KW - anarchism

KW - assessment

KW - higher education

KW - pedagogy

KW - Utopia

U2 - 10.1080/00131857.2018.1472576

DO - 10.1080/00131857.2018.1472576

M3 - Article

VL - 51

SP - 286

EP - 297

IS - 3

ER -