|Michael Apple (left), with Dirk Postma (right), who organized the seminar|
What he said was relevant for the SOTL @ UJ - Towards a Socially Just Pedagogy project. He began by drawing distinctions between the neoliberal tendency, neoconservative and authoritarian, and asserting that there are not simply two social classes: middle and working classes. Of particular relevance to those of us working in higher education, is the fraction of the middle class that advocates evidence, accountability and measurability, and mobilizes resources accordingly. Interestingly, there were quite a few questions from the participants about this, and the fact that as academics, many of us are complicit in this quest for measurable outputs. Andre Kraak drew my attention to an interesting article on performativity and academics' contestation and compliance: Carole Leathwood & Barbara Read (2013) Research policy and academic performativity: compliance, contestation and complicity, Studies in Higher Education, 38:8, 1162-1174, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2013.833025
- to tell the truth
- to show spaces for action
- to act as a 'critical secretary'
- to keep critical traditions alive, critically (i.e. to be critical about these traditions too)
- to give of our expertise (our knowledge is 'paid for', we must give it back)
- to build progressive communities (one can't do it on one's own)
- to practise critical teaching, to demonstrate this in one's own work)
- to open spaces for those who are not there.