Saturday, 22 February 2014
University of Lincoln
Main Building, 0312 (Co-op Lecture Theatre)
This presentation, which is both part of our Doctoral Study School and open to the public, will explore the significance of Brazilian thinker and activist Paulo Freire’s philosophy of education, drawing on a genealogy of his work from the early ’60s on adult literacy through the seminal 1968 text Pedagogy of the Oppressed. It will also look to later developments of Freire’s thinking as it evolved and self-critiqued. Here, his critique of the political naivety of some forms of so-called ‘liberatory’ or ‘emancipatory’ is especially instructive. Freire always emphasised the importance of praxis, the reciprocity of acute thinking and reflective action. The talk will thus look to his own impact on practical educational contexts and struggles. The first draws on work in an Irish educational context, exploring the hegemony of a certain kind of faith schooling and the attempt to critique these approaches from a more problem posing and multiculturalist standpoint. The second regards the increasing managerialist ideology of the educational sphere, and with specific reference to the growing pressures at university level, in Ireland and the UK, the talk will look to how Freire’s legacy might be understood. Particular attention will be paid to his work on the university (his University of Mexico lectures), as well as to the contested space of post-Freirean educational philosophy and theory, whether through Critical Pedagogy or otherwise.
Jones Irwin is a Lecturer in Philosophy and Education at St Patrick’s College, Dublin City University. He completed his PhD in Philosophy at University of Warwick in 1998. His recent work has focused on French philosophy (his monograph on Derrida and the Writing of the Body) and the problem of ethos in Irish schools. He has also been actively involved in the development of the new Ethics and Education curriculum strand in St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra, which seeks to provide a multi-denominational option for teacher students. In 2012, he published the monograph Paulo Freire’s Philosophy of Education: Origins, Developments, Impacts and Legacies. He was Visiting Fellow to Warwick Education Department in 2013, working with Professor Leslie Francis on a project on ‘Ethical and Comparative Religious Education – Tensions and Possibilities’. His most recent text explores the impact of Lacanian Psychoanalysis on Philosophy, and is published in 2014 (with Helena Motoh) as Žižek and His Contemporaries: On the Emergence of the Slovenian Lacan. He is currently writing a monograph on Radicalising Philosophy of Education: From Lyotard to Rancière.