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Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard

Immersion and ritual in Object-Oriented Didactics and Sensuous Learning

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  • Jonas Andreasen Lysgaard
  • Stefan Bengtsson, Uppsala University, Uppsala, 75185, Sweden., Uppsala University, Sweden
  • Gry Worre Hallberg, University of Copenhagen
Environmental and sustainability education (ESE) that wants to address existing environmental and sustainability challenges, basically critical, that is if it wants to change through education and learning contemporary ways of being in the world (cf Hart & Nolan 1999). This change is often framed in terms of transformation , where something is changed into something else, yet, that change of that something (van Poeck, König & Wals 2018; Lundegård & Wickman 2009), for example the process, is partially a retainment of something (Mezirow 2000). For example, it is still the social, learner, knowledge or custom that was transformed, highlighting its continuity. This focus on retainment and continuity has recently been challenged through the concept of transgressive learning (e.g. Lotz-Sisitka et al. 2015), where the focus is rather of abandonment and discontinuity of ways of being through learning (Bengtsson 2019). Transgression is by the presenting authors seen as a means of potentially subverting the reproduction of coloniality of Western thought (Chaves et al. 2015), pertaining anthropocentrism (Kopnina 2012) and capitalism/neoliberalism (Hursh, Henderson & Greenwood 2015) in and through ESE. This paper aims to contribute to a theoretical and practical development of didactical means for transgression, particularly by providing alternative pedagogical and didactical entry points for understanding learning as not primarily rational but by highlighting aesthetics and the sensuous learner. In this effort, the paper combines the theoretical outlooks of sensuous learning (Hallberg 2015, 2017, 2018) and object-oriented learning (Bengtsson 2018) in order to develop further a object-oriented didactics of ESE (Bengtsson, Lysgaard, Jordt-Joergensen 2019). The effort is here to provide theoretical and practical means for engaging with withdrawn and uncanny objects of education through sensuous learning. Drawing on the initial considerations of object-oriented didactics (Bengtsson, Lysgaard, Jordt-Joergensen 2019) holding that the real object of education is not congruent with the content of education and that the educative substance (Bildungsgehalt) of the object of education is indeterminate (located in an open future) and infinite (given that the qualities of the object of education are always larger than any attempts to reduce it to a content of education), sensuous learning is here to provide entry points for understanding how the indeterminate and infinite qualities of the object of education can be rendered sensible. The paper will address the following research questions: How can didactic intervention engage with the surplus of the educative substance (Bildungssubstanz) of the object of education? (Practical question) How can senouse learning sensitize the learner and teacher to the indeterminate potential of the educative substance of the object as that substance is according to the axioms of object-oriented learning located in a future still to come? (Practical and theoretical question) How can we understand the contribution of object-oriented didactics to the production of a Sensuous Society (Hallberg 2017) and Ecological Bildung (Bengtsson, Lysgaard, Jordt-Joergensen 2019). How is this link actualized in didactical intervention and in learning? (Theoretical question) Methodology or Methods/ Research Instruments or Sources Used: The paper represents a theoretical development of existing conceptions of a) transgressive learning, b) dark pedagogy and c) sensuous learning. In particular, it induces insights and perspectives from theory and methods in performance art and arts-based research into pedagogical and didactical research. Findings and models developed in Sisters Academy ́s school takeovers and boarding schools formats offer rich and innovative approaches to facilitating sensuous learning that are taken as inspiration for the development of object-oriented didactics. This paper will in particular focus on two aspects of sensuous learning: immersion and the ritual. By engaging with approaches and models to immersion and the ritual, this paper is to explore in an open and creative manner how immersion and the ritual could be integrated into didactical interventions. Conclusions, Expected Outcomes or Findings: By rendering partially sensible the object of education through didactic intervention, sensuous learning is resensitizing the learner to what in sensuous learning is called “Poetic Self” (Hallberg 2017, 2018) and in dark pedagogy is called “Future Self of Essence” (Bengtsson 2019b). Accordingly, educational substance (Bildungsgehalt) of the object of education to be engaged with in sensuous learning is not strictly speaking that of the object or “for me”. Instead, sensuous learning can be seen to lead to a transgression where the learner loses or ruins “its self”/”itself” (Bataille 1988). The poetic self is in this sense not engaging in the process of autopoiesis, i.e. self-reproduction and self-maintenance, finds itself caught up in “some thing”/”something”. The combination of sensuous learning and object oriented didactics is in the context above to provide ecologically oriented entry points for ESE and for developing further transgressive learning. References (400 words): Bataille, Georges. 1988. Inner Experience. Albany: State University of New York Press. Bengtsson, Stefan L. 2018. “Outlining an Education Without Nature and Object-Oriented Learning.” In Research Handbook on Childhoodnature, edited by Amy Cutter-Mackenzie, Karen Malone, and E. Hacking, Barratt, 1–22. Springer. Bengtsson, Stefan. 2019. “Engaging with the Beyond—Diffracting Conceptions of T-Learning.” Sustainability 11 (12): 3430. Bengtsson, Stefan L. 2019b. A pedagogy of vulnerability, In Dark Pedagogy: Education, Horror and the Anthropocene, by Jonas Lysgaard, Stefan Bengtsson & Martin Laugensen. London & New York: Palgrave MacMillan. Bengtsson, Stefan, Jonas Lysgaard, and Nana Jordt-Joergensen. 2019. Object-Oriented Didactics. European Conference on Educational Research: Hamburg. Chaves, M., T. Macintyre, E. Riano, J. Calero, and A. Wals. 2015. “Death and Rebirth of Atlántida: The Role of Social Learning in Bringing about Transformative Sustainability Processes in an Ecovillage.” Southern African Journal of Environmental Education 31 (1): 22–32. Hallberg, Gry Worre. 2015: “Sensuous Learning”. TEDX talk, TEDxUppsalaUniversity Hallberg, Gry Worre. 2017: “Sensuous Learning”, in: “Sisters Academy - Education for the Future” (Eds. Luna, Rikke et. al). I DO ART Books: 34 - 48. Hallberg, Gry Worre. 2018: “Sensuous Learning” Research Catalouge for artistic research: https://www.researchcatalogue.net/view/511072/511073 (accessed 23.01.20) Hart, Paul, and Kathleen Nolan. 1999. “A Critical Analysis of Research in Environmental Education.” Studies in Science Education 34 (1): 1–69. Hursh, David, Joseph Henderson, and David Greenwood. 2015. “Environmental Education in a Neoliberal Climate.” Environmental Education Research 21 (3). Routledge: 299–318. Lotz-Sisitka, Heila, Arjen E.J. J Wals, David Kronlid, and Dylan McGarry. 2015. “Transformative, Transgressive Social Learning: Rethinking Higher Education Pedagogy in Times of Systemic Global Dysfunction.” Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 16. Elsevier B.V.: 73–80. Lundegård, Iann, and Per-Olof Wickman. 2009. “Identity Transformation in Education for Sustainable Development: A Question of Location.” Scandinavian Journal of Educational Research 53 (5): 461–479. Mezirow, Jack. 2000. Learning as Transformation : Critical Perspectives on a Theory in Progress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass Publishers. Kopnina, Helen. 2012. “Education for Sustainable Development (ESD): The Turn Away from ‘Environment’ in Environmental Education?” Environmental Education Research 18 (5). Routledge: 699–717. Van Poeck, Katrien, Ariane König, and Arjen E. J. Wals. 2018. “Environmental and Sustainability Education in the Benelux Countries: Research, Policy and Practices at the Intersection of Education and Societal Transformation.” Environmental Education Research. Websites: www.sistershope.dk and www.sistersacademy.dk
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2020
Publication statusPublished - 2020

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