About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2338-2346
Publication year: 2011
ISBN: 978-84-615-3324-4
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2011
Location: Madrid, Spain

PEDAGOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM: THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM AND PRACTICES TO RECONNECT OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD

G. Smith

Simon Fraser University (CANADA)
“The member of a primitive clan might express his identity in the formula “I am we”; he cannot yet conceive of himself as an “individual,” existing apart from his group.”
~Eric Fromm
To contemplate the phenomenon of everyday schooling is to journey into the creation and manifestation of culture. Schooling, as an everyday occurrence for millions around the globe, is taken for granted. Infrequently do the majority of people step outside of the parameters of the daily aspects of living as it pertains to schools to examine, reflect, wonder about and question the assumptions and political currents behind the common educational enterprise.

Apparent in our Western (and increasingly global) assumption about how education is delivered, received and presumed, is the ideology of the individual. It is this notion of the individual and ramifications of this thinking that I wish to explore in this oral presentation. The notion of “self” as individual entity is a given; it is for the most part an unquestioned part of our world and daily existence.

When institutions like schools are entrenched in such cultural worldviews of “self”, it is presumed that they have established functions and ideals in our world that have become so integral they are unquestioned, invisible, and thought essential to society. The hidden curriculum of individualism has largely resulted from ahistorical constructions and a culturally promoted psychology of self which emphasizes competition, anthropocentrism and consumerism. Given the urgency of environmental deterioration and the social injustices of our current political times, I seek to explore pedagogical practices for teachers and school counsellors to promote social health and an ecologically just planet for all species.

The research questions I wish to explore are:
What are the socio-political functions of schooling, as widely practiced around the globe, in the age of globalization?
What part does schooling play in the complicated cultural landscape of the “self” as individual entity? How do individualistic and dualistic notions of self lead to alienation toward our selves, others and the planet?
How does the assumption of self as individual add to or challenge the status quo – by an appreciation of what it means to be human, by affecting standards of what is considered “normal”, trends in education, the content of popular culture and advertising, the impending destruction of the environment and the techno-communication explosion?

As a school counsellor and teacher, where are the points of resistance, pedagogical practices and psychological frameworks for renewed understanding of self within a larger web of life?
Eighteen years of work as a school counsellor and teacher have led me to want to examine the “free market” hegemony of government, capitalism and the promotion of rhetoric to “market” a particular brand of pedagogical individualism. The aftermath of celebrated egotism has subsequently led to our current ecological crisis and the mass suffering of millions of people around the world. The current work seeks to explore the pedagogical forces of individualism and alternate notions of self to encourage social grace and preservation of our shared earth.
@InProceedings{SMITH2011PED,
author = {Smith, G.},
title = {PEDAGOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM: THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM AND PRACTICES TO RECONNECT OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD},
series = {4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2011 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-615-3324-4},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2011},
year = {2011},
pages = {2338-2346}}
TY - CONF
AU - G. Smith
TI - PEDAGOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM: THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM AND PRACTICES TO RECONNECT OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD
SN - 978-84-615-3324-4/2340-1095
PY - 2011
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2011
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 4th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2011 Proceedings
SP - 2338
EP - 2346
ER -
G. Smith (2011) PEDAGOGICAL INDIVIDUALISM: THE HIDDEN CURRICULUM AND PRACTICES TO RECONNECT OURSELVES AND OUR WORLD, ICERI2011 Proceedings, pp. 2338-2346.
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