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(In)Conclusion

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Part of the Postcolonial Studies in Education book series (PCSE)

Abstract

In order to outline the limits and the relevance of postcolonial theory in the field of education, I will make use of a last metaphor. I invite readers to imagine themselves walking along the banks of a river with a very strong current. Suddenly you see that there are a number of very young children drowning in the river—many are already dead, others are struggling to swim. Looking up the river, you can see several boats throwing the children into the water and the boats seem to multiply by the minute. How are you going to decide what to do about the situation? I suggest that there are at least four urgent interrelated jobs to be contemplated in this scenario, but they all depend on the context, skills, and call of the person deciding to intervene. There is obviously the need for people to jump into the river and save as many children as they can (which requires very good swimming skills and an understanding of life-saving strategies). There is the job of stopping the boats from throwing the children in the water (which requires the use of persuasion, force, or law enforcement to convince boat captains to stop). There is the job of collecting, mourning, and remembering the ones who died so that their deaths are not forgotten (which requires emotional strength, persistence, and memory). And finally, there is the job of travelling further up the river, into the villages, lifeworlds and worldviews of the people who own the boats to find out what is behind the decision to throw the children in the water (which requires an approach that addresses the discursive/ideological origins of the problem).

Keywords

  • Student Teacher
  • Knowledge Production
  • Postcolonial Theory
  • Ethical Relationship
  • Unequal Power Relation

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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  • DOI: 10.1057/9780230337794_16
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© 2011 Vanessa Andreotti

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Andreotti, V. (2011). (In)Conclusion. In: Actionable Postcolonial Theory in Education. Postcolonial Studies in Education. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230337794_16

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