EDU T017: Alternative Modes of Education





Houman Harouni
Thursday 5:00pm-8:00pm

The purpose of this course is to question prevailing, relatively uniform and quite limiting forms of education in light of approaches that escape or overcome these forms. A mode of education is more than mere content and pedagogy. It refers to ways of knowing, forms of life, conceptions of power, value systems, and structuring goals that ultimately underlie a people’s understanding of what education is and does. Therefore, this course concerns more than a simple familiarity with alternative models of learning—rather, the participants will engage in an exploration of their current attitudes toward education and work to create alternate visions that challenge existing assumptions. In this process we will draw on a wide variety of sources, including, but not limited to, Native American ways of knowing, the African and African American traditions, Indian and Chinese philosophies, the Sufi tradition in Islam and, last but not least, those radical and critical visions of education that have come to existence in various corners of the modern world. The question of what is or is not European, radical or utopian is central to this work. Course pedagogy reflects the questions and approaches that we engage: it places the participants within, rather than beside, the modes we are to study, and it provides an experiential context for rigorous critique of these modes. The ultimate aim of the course is to enable participants to create alternative approaches to those aspects of education that most concern them. Permission of instructor required. Students from all departments and academic backgrounds, including doctoral students, are welcome. Enrollment procedure will be posted on the course website.

See also: Spring 2020