By C. Joldersma
Joldersma applies Levinas's ethics systematically to the commonplaces of schooling - instructing, studying, curriculum, and associations - and elucidates the function of justice and accountability and the which means of calling and proposal in schooling.
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Extra info for A Levinasian Ethics for Education’s Commonplaces: Between Calling and Inspiration
And welcoming can only be done by the one whose place it is. The asymmetry that conditions the student’s relation to the teacher is not half a reciprocal relation. The conditions for being a learner are not simultaneously those that condition being a teacher; the teacher, from the student’s perspective, is the one who is welcomed, the one who delivers something unexpected. Only the learner welcomes the one who disturbs, who brings something unexpected. What this highlights is that being a learner involves an asymmetry from a first-person perspective.
The subject as a center enjoys sensory experiences, creates visions, and originates actions—the subjectivity of freedom and autonomy. By contrast, the subjectivity involved in being inspired to hope is decentered. A deeper subjectivity is revealed, one affected by something incoming, convicted by something not of one’s own choosing. One’s centeredness has been disrupted by something outside of itself. The affective disruption that comes from a time unforeseen creates a gap. Between the incoming inspiration and the subject’s response is a lag, a hesitation.
It calls the student to an obligation outside of his or her own selfinterest, outside the acquisition of pure disciplinary knowledge. That call obligates the student, as learner, in the direction of the neighbor and the stranger. This call isn’t one of the many well-formed mental representations that constitute the knowledge a student may be acquiring at the conscious, cognitive level. Instead, this call comes from beyond such representations, from a time immemorial, as a trace in the present. The student’s concrete responsibility ultimately is to the vulnerability of the other others.