|Title||Pure learning and the discourse of knowledge|
A university is a place you acquire knowledge, learn skills and engage with new ideas. It is where you expect the ‘Discourse of Knowledge’ to dominate. But universities are complex social institutions where many other discourses are expressed. This paper asks whether it is possible, or even desirable, to create circumstances in which ‘pure learning’ (a parallel with Benjamin’s ‘pure language’) can take place, where the Discourse of Knowledge is not in competition with other discourses, such as the ‘Discourse of the Master’ (Lacan). I use linguistic theory and data from structured interviews to explore this topic. I discuss ways in which I minimize the presence of the Discourse of the Master in my own teaching. I discuss the ambiguity of ‘directives’ and the pragmatics of giving instructions. I discuss the role of assessment and whether it can inhibit learning by introducing a ‘Discourse of Deficit’ (Foucault). Finally, I discuss the nature of knowledge and the criteria educators use when choosing topics to present, and why they choose these over others.
|Conference||Language and linguistics research cluster: interface with linguistics conference|