By C. Joldersma
Joldersma applies Levinas's ethics systematically to the commonplaces of schooling - instructing, studying, curriculum, and associations - and elucidates the function of justice and accountability and the which means of calling and thought in schooling.
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Extra info for A Levinasian Ethics for Education’s Commonplaces: Between Calling and Inspiration
The teacher, as other, is invited in for learning. It is the welcome that most clearly signals inspiration as an ethical orientation, an infusion of hope, a hope for rejuvenation beyond the disturbance, for something better. This means that having a dwelling is important for learning’s ethical orientation. Without a home, there could be no invitation, no welcoming, no hospitality. That is, without the enjoying and worrying dimensions of the subject, one who has both enjoyment and concern for self in terms of preservation, there could be no welcoming the questioning of that freedom and enjoyment, namely, one’s autonomy.
Rather than ‘merely’ assimilating, learning simultaneously involves exposure to interruption. Disturbances might well lead to unwelcome rupture of oneself as a subject, including one’s very identity. To learn is to be influenced, something that requires being vulnerable. The learner, situated in the love of life, is simultaneously exposed to interruptions of that life. On the one hand the learning event centers and separates the enjoying subject from the exterior forces while on the other it undermines that centeredness and independence.
More particularly, the call for justice comes as an inclusive obligation to help the stranger. Struggling for justice as a real possibility means being animated by hope and being called to responsibility to act in moving toward inclusive communities that are marked by human flourishing. This call has something specific to do with learning. The larger context of a student’s inspiration for learning is the call to responsibility for concrete action in the world. This call, coming from beyond the teacher, is an obligation that orients the student outward, beyond the school walls and away from his or her own autonomy and self-interest.