ENTERING A PRACTICE AS AN OUTSIDER
“Recognise the importance of location on thinking, especially in relation to education in an age where increasingly globalisation, multiculturalism, and internationalisation are the norm rather than the exception.” -- (Peters, 2010a pg 16)
“Whereas alienation in particular seems more wedded to an industrial age, exile is emblematic of the age of globalisation with its problems arising from (often forced) human movement and its consequences -- displacement, uprootedness, and homelessness -- the effects of a space-time compression that both enables greater movement and also demands it.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 20)
“As Michael Dummett (2001, pg. 7) argues, place does not only refer to a land. It also refers to what gives people an identity, which if “it is not grounded in a common ethnicity, religion or language, it must be grounded in shared ideals, a shared vision of the society it is striving to create.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 21)
“I want to suggest that we can think about our words as diasporically linked to home, building on the diasporic identity ... in which home is neither any presently existing location nor some place of transcendence.” (Scheman, 1997, pg 402)
“[Being an outsider] is not simply a matter of learning the language and customs, but rather it is about finding the self in the Other, of being lost in relation to the self in a way that creates a rupture with familiar things, that shore up ontological security and identity understood as a form of self-knowledge.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 30)
“Invariably this kind of learning takes place around the aspects of daily life, the ordinary and the everyday events of eating, talking, queuing, exchanging pleasantries, greeting people of different age, sex, and gender, drinking, sleeping, dressing, washing, and so on. The tourist by comparison never allows his or her sense of ontological security to be threatened, and, although the intelligent or perspective tourist might learn something about others and other cultures.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 28)
“Exile, in other words, is distinguished by the fact that it is an ‘othering’ experience. It demands a certain kind of learning at the level of practice that is necessary for knowing how to get on within a culture. It also generally involves the risk and prospect of failure: both also failure at the deeper cultural level that helps to determine a sense of what is culturally appropriate. This continual risk of failure and lack of understanding of the underlying agreed cultural judgements requires a kind of learning that can only be obtained through practical encounters.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 28)
“There are others, people who are neither stranger nor native, who for the widest range of reasons, within and beyond their own choosing, live somewhere other than at the centers of the forms of life they inhabit.” (Scheman, 1997. pg. 403)
“This reading might also be deepened into an understanding of the ontological dimensions of multicultural education and pedagogy, as well as refugee education and what might call a pedagogy of the Other. By ontological relational dimensions we mean focusing on the configuration and dynamic of self and other, of encounters with the other, and of oneself as another.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 29)
“[Outsiders] are continuously contested, imagined and reimagined, transformed and negotiated, both by their members and through interaction with others. The identity, and so the meaning, of any culture is, thus, aspectival rather than essential.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 21)
“Exilic thought is the thought and ‘education’ of the exile, the wanderer, the stranger. It is a kind of uprooted thought developed away from ‘home’ under conditions of displacement and uncertainty, often in a different mother tongue, language tradition, and culture. Exilic thought is sometimes the self-imposed discipline of the ‘stranger’ who develop his or her identity as an ‘alien’ or immigrant against the conventions of a host culture and from the perspective of an outsider.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 17)
“African paraprofessionals indicated that there was more to working with the refugee students than merely building the conceptual knowledge that many of them needed for content area success ... It was also necessary to broaden the students’ ways of knowing beyond conceptual levels.” (Dooley, 2012, p 14)
“That we take the idea of thinking as both a journey and as “education” seriously. The forced or self-imposed journey requires continual readjustment under new and changing cultural traditions without the security or familiarity of “home” and thus, without the normal structures that anchor and prop up identity. ‘Nomadic truth’ is born of the traveler’s education, the exchange of ideas, and acquaintance with new landscapes of thought, born of encounters with the Other, with different cultures often producing new hybridities that are not simply the result of grafted cultural stock.” -- (Peters, 2010a, pg 18)
“It is, I would argue, an important part of the health at least of large, modern societies, that they have within them members who are not truly at home there, who see with the eyes of the ‘outsider within,’ and that such members are in positions to be listened to and to be intelligible.” (Scheman, 1997, pg. 403 - 404)
References (back to top)
- Dooley, K. (2012). Positioning refugee students as intellectual class members. In McCarthy, F. and Vickers, M. Refugee and immigrant students: achieving equity in education. (pp. 3 - 20). Charlotte: Information Age Publishing.
- Dummett, M. (2001). On immigration and refugees. London: Routledge.
- Peters, M. (2010a). Wittgenstein as exile: a philosophical topography. In M. Peters, N. Burbles, and P. Smeyers (Eds), Showing and doing: Wittgenstein as a pedagogical philosopher. (pp. 15 - 34). London: Paradigm Publishers.
- Scheman, N. (1996). Forms of life: mapping the rough ground. In H. Sluga and D. Stern (Eds.) (1996). The Cambridge companion to Wittgenstein. Cambridge: (pp. 383 - 410) Cambridge University Press.