You Can’t Hurry Understanding: I’m trapped in a beanbag of relativism

Some teachers draw inspiration from pedagogical theorists. The rest of us? Phil Collins.
Some teachers draw inspiration from pedagogical theorists. The rest of us? Phil Collins.
One month into my MA in Education…

My mind is a mess of Russian surnames and words with more prefixes and suffixes than I thought polite. Never, at any point in my life, have I been more aware of my mind as a part of my body. It’s knacked. I can’t string together a thought for love nor money.

And now I have the additional burden of ‘contestability’. Everything seems relative, ‘contingent’, perpetually susceptible to challenge. Look at how my vocabulary has gone out of control. My academic register is seeping into my daily life. My newsagent thinks I have morphed into Yoda or, even worse, Jeremy Corbyn.

I used to think I was a teacher. Now I ‘know’ that I am a schizoid facilitator with controlling tendencies. (See, I can’t even say ‘know’ anymore without couching it in sarcastically hedge-betting speech marks.)

To add insult to injury, I’ve discovered that I’m still in Plato’s Cave. It is the most numbingly Matrix-esque analogy I’ve come across. I now feel that I’m trapped in cave upon cave: a concentric Russian doll structure of circles of enlightenment with no guarantee that I’ll ever reach the light. (See! Someone has turned my nominalisation knob up to 11!) I’m a nominalisation knob!

Help me! I can feel my certainty bleed from me (it looks like marmalade with slivers of nutmeg in it). Nutmeg?! Oh lord, I’m hallucinating! I can see Piaget, sitting in a beanbag. He’s telling me that I’m ‘not ready’. He’s just been whacked around the head by Vygotsky: he’s telling Piaget that, whilst phylogenesis is a factor, we also have to consider cultural history and microgenesis. Jesus Christ! Phil Collins has just appeared and told them both to pipe down.

‘Doesn’t anyone stay together anymore?’ he asks me.

Not me.

Not today.

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5 thoughts on “You Can’t Hurry Understanding: I’m trapped in a beanbag of relativism

  1. Nice post Sir. Good to hear the brain cells whirring.
    Relax, and go with it. I actually love these relativist positions, might even dabble in a bit of complexity theory, on @geogphil ‘s recommendation. Clarity comes from seeing the whole kaleidoscopic formation.

    There is certainty in uncertainty.

    Somewhere.😉
    @Lisa7Pettifer

    Liked by 1 person

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