Archive for the ‘the pedagogy of everyday life in China’ Category

I use the word “rural” with reservations here, as what is rural in China would hardly be recognized as such in many other places. At any rate, I offer this (very) short video as a supplement to a photo essay on School Courtyard Pedagogy I posted here some time ago. This video was shot in Summer 2013. By the way, before going off on conformity, have a close look at the fine-grained chaos at about the 13s mark. Try supervising that, teacher!


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Have a look at this piece by an old hockey friend in Beijing. The object of his attention is not “education” in the common sense of the term, but taken as a pedagogy of everyday life or diffuse education in Bourdieu & Passeron’s sense, a number of interesting points are made.

Gervais has lived in China for a good long time, as becomes clear from the article itself, and has a “foreign” perspective — based on diverse experiences and roles — second to none. To be frank, Gervais is not a great hockey player, but his writing on China seems as effortless as his on-ice work is not.

If you don’t read french, Google Translate does a pretty good job of things.

Chine: objet de désir : article – Revue Argument.

via Chine: objet de désir : article – Revue Argument.

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Dong San Zhuang

A rare blue sky morning allowed me to take this panoramic photo (thanks, iPhone 5) in which I attempted to capture the scale and scope of the redevelopment of one of many of Shijiazhuang’s (Hebei) cheng zhong cun (城中村). A few years ago the city government initiated an accelerated program of urban renovation that included the demolition and redevelopment of about 42 of these urban villages. The result has been an astonishing amount of construction activity, and a thoroughgoing change in the nature of life in the city. I’ve categorized this photo under “The pedagogy of everyday life in China,” but I won’t develop the discussion at this point. Needless to say, the change in lifestyle for the former residents of this converted village will be significant.

The apartment buildings in the foreground (the high rise on the left, two six floor walkups at the centre, and three on the right) date from the late 1990s/early 2000s and are attached to SOE office buildings built on former village land. Directly behind these sit the five walkups that house former residents of the village’s now demolished siheyuan (四合院 — courtyard style homes). In the left middle ground are dozens of 6th floor walk ups built and sold on Shijiazhuang’s vibrant real estate market in the 00s. The high rises in the middle ground and on the horizon are products of the acceleration of redevelopment during and following a government program known as san nian da bianyang. Another group of buildings is set to rise on the last remaining vacant ground (right, middle).

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In this photo essay, I’m concerned with the kinds of teaching and learning that go on at the thousands of public memorial sites around the PRC. Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced some of the photos from my visits to these places, although at some of them, taking pictures was obviously out of order (e.g., the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Museum). Of those that I’ve retained, I’ve decided to stick to sites related to the Revolutionary War that I think are worth considering. I hope you enjoy them. (more…)

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In a previous photo essay, I talked a bit about the hidden (and not so hidden) curriculum of school courtyard pedagogy. Today, a different kind of pedagogy: the pedagogy of educational desire. Much is made of the high value placed on educational attainment in Chinese culture (see here for a somewhat deeper discussion). This photo essay introduces one form that the instilling of educational desire takes in Mainland China. (more…)

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I was going through my photo archive recently and decided that there were a lot of photos that others might find interesting and/or enjoyable. Fortunately they date from a time shortly after I got my first digital camera, so it is quite easy to upload them.

The idea behind what I hope will become a series of short photo essays is that, while we tend to associate “education” with our experiences in schools (i.e., with “schooling”), education really takes place every day and everywhere. In light of this, for the purposes of this series of photo essays, I’ll use the word “pedagogy” instead (here “School Courtyard Pedagogy”). When we view daily life through this lens, a different picture of the places and practices of everyday life emerges.

Having said this, some of these photo essays, beginning with this one, focus on schools and schooling. In what follows, I’ll try to keep the descriptions to a minimum. Enjoy! (more…)

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