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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: No ends, no means, just education: a kinaesthetic approach to thinking otherwise
Author(s): Alexander, Kirsty Jane
Supervisor(s): Munday, Ian
Allan, Julie
Keywords: education
kinaesthetic experience
Issue Date: 30-Jun-2015
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: In this thesis I offer an alternative to the hyper–individualistic, hyper-performative means-end dynamic that dominates contemporary educational practice. I foreground dimensions of experience that possibilise an approach that is neither instrumentatlised nor instrumentalising; an approach I term (a) (more) just education. The thesis opens with an analysis of how the reduction of education to use-value is both dependent on, and perpetuating of, a conception of subjectivity that overlooks the facticity of embodied life. The prevalence of dualist assumptions in both liberal and critical educational thinking and the persistence of these assumptions despite explicit attempts to think otherwise is mapped out and I draw a link between these assumptions and the privilege accorded to displays of understanding. Alongside this analysis I propose that the seemingly all-pervasive Cartesian legacy might be circumvented by approaching the question of subjectivity from a kinaesthetic perspective. This kinaesthetic approach is outlined with reference to the somatic dance practice of Skinner Releasing Technique (SRT). The practice of SRT offers up three ‘kinaesthetic provocations’ that invite re-thinking both the dynamics of education and the dynamics of justice. Throughout the thesis I explore an interplay between these provocations and the work of Derrida and Deleuze/Deleuze and Guattari; and through this interplay I unsettle the dualisms of self and other, self and world, and self and work. By approaching the shaping of subjectivity from a bodily, kinaesthetic perspective I submit the bodies called teachers and students, the bodies of practice called teaching and learning, the bodies of knowledge called curricula and the ideal body called justice to processes of deterritorialisation. Untethering education from its ends in this way affords the possibility of approaching education as an experience of passage. I argue that an emphasis on passage offers up educational consequences that are shared in rather than shared out and that therefore escape the grip of performative categorising trends. Through this account the role of the educator becomes one of affirmation, rather than validation, and I conclude the thesis by examining the particular sensitivities that this demands.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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