May 10th Synthesis

We began our discussion with a focus on casuistry, a major focus in Lynch’s text. A casuistic pedagogy includes tailoring the decision making process to take into account past experiences that, while of course not the same, include aspects that can influence how a teacher sees a current situation. A part of this can also be related to Davis’ ideas of the “black market economy,” where certain situations call for a new sort of decision making process that does not stick to or evaluate from the traditional set of rules. Based on this, Dylan asked about the class’s own casuistic pedagogical experiences, and the ways in which certain experiences have influenced how they handle new situations. This led us to the question of how important it is to make our reflective processes overt, as we discussed that we are always in the process of evaluating certain situations based on previous experiences and reflections. For example, we discussed how in Kasey’s blog post, she brought up how her male-majority classroom interactions were different from her female majority classroom interactions, and this was influenced in part by her previous experiences with negotiating authority. This raises the question of the role of conscious reflection and seemingly unconscious reflection and how they influence a casuistic pedagogy.


Following our discussion of casuistry, Josh asked whether anyone had thoughts or reactions to the questions Lynch poses at the bottom of page 45. Rachel and others agreed that it didn’t seem as though Lynch fully addressed these significant questions–his literature review seemed to point out a number of ideas that were left somewhat neglected afterward. To my question, Rachel also pointed us to page 49, where Lynch observes “The teacher is positioned as a receptor of Acts rather than as their producer.” After taking a moment to (re?)read the text surrounding the questions on page 45 (to recall his aim in that section), we also acknowledged that Lynch claims: “When I’m asking about the sustainability of postpedagogy, I do not mean to ask how it can be turned into a program. I mean to ask how I can inhabit the attitudes that postpedagogy encourages, given that I am, as Burke would say, rotten with perfection and goaded by the spirit of hierarchy” (51).


Kasey’s question focused on reflection which may take place between Lynch’s “Monday morning” and “Tuesday morning.” Dr. Campbell had coined this the “Monday evening question” and discussed Dewey’s cultivated naiveté. We also discussed Dewey’s meditative approach to teaching and its connections to cultivated naiveté, mostly how one can be an experienced beginner teacher and, by gaining more experience, one can disrobe that experience in order to be open to new experiences. The handout we were given encouraged us to think about cultivating practices to reflect on experience and response between teaching classes. Some argued that this happens inherently, while others expressed keeping a written record or journal of teaching experiences may be useful. We also discussed how talking about our teaching experiences can help us reflect and lead to new insights. We completed and improve activity called “yes, and” to challenge how we respond and we could not ask questions or deny anything a peer previously shared. We had to affirm and enter the space of our peers. We reflected how “yes, and” affected our responses to one another and may connect to response in the classroom. To end class, we all shared our reflections of the course overall. Then, we headed over to Hopper’s for refreshments and good conversation.


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