Body as Transformer: ‘Teaching Without Teaching’ in a Teacher Education Course

  • Karin MurrisEmail author
  • Cara Borcherds


A rapidly increasing number of books and articles are written about posthuman pedagogies in schooling, but practical pedagogical guidance for preparing student teachers in higher education for such a dramatic ontoepistemic shift is slow coming forward. Inspired by Rosi Braidotti’s (Metamorphoses: Towards a materialist theory of becoming. Blackwell Publishers, Oxford, 2002) idea of the body as a transformer, a relay point for the flow of energies, Karin Murris has designed a provocation in her university classroom that opens up possibilities for radically critiquing power and reconfiguring teaching and learning without slipping into symbolic, representational ways of thinking and doing. The intra-vention is part of Karin’s ‘teaching without teaching’ approach, creating conditions whereby student teachers learn without being taught and thereby unlearn what teaching and learning is. Cara, a student on Karin’s course, is initially deeply disturbed by Karin’s posthuman approach. Their writing shows how Cara’s affirmative resistance provoked a posthuman shift, materialised through moving images as part of Cara’s final installation and accessed through a QR code. Her moving assemblage of image(-ening)s disrupts in particular, the ‘inner/outer’ binary that makes human-centred notions of agency, causality and intentionality possible—notions at the heart of the dominant psychological, sociological and social constructionist conceptions of childhood and pedagogy as we know it.


Body as transformer Teacher education Teaching without teaching Disruptive image(-ening)s Reconfiguring power 



This writing is based on research supported by the National Research Foundation of South Africa [Grant Number 98992].


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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