Education policy on the couch: Facts and fictions; fantasies and ideologies

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Tuesday 12 December
Room 101, St Edburga, King Alfred Campus, University of Winchester, Sparkford Road, Winchester, Hampshire SO22 4NR

Education policy can be characterised in terms of the balancing of the rational and the normative. Specifically, it positions itself as the domain of efficient, if instrumental, reason and beneficent morality. Within this view, personal and social progress result from engagement in learning leading to the steady accretion of knowledge. Psychoanalysis, however, offers a different perspective in which we are subjects of desire, rather than subjects of knowledge, and in which our engagement with reality is inevitably structured by fantasy and mediated by ideology. Such a view wreaks epistemological havoc with ‘business as usual’ in education, undoing any comforting connections between the subject, knowledge, redemption and progress. This session examines policy agendas from the English and Australian contexts, leavened by way of some forays into film, in order to think through the consequences of taking psychoanalytic notions, including desire, fantasy and the unconscious, seriously in relation to education policy and practice.

This seminar will be given by Professor Matthew Clarke. For more information about Matthew, click here 

The event is hosted by the Centre for Philosophy of Education and the South Coast Branch of the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain. For information about the Philosophy of Education Society of Great Britain, click here

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