10 November 2011

Dialectics and Politics in the Classroom

This is just a brief thought that is contained in the conclusion of an essay that I am writing at the moment:

Bourgeois economists have the luxury of being able to deceive their students, and in many cases themselves, into pretending that their theories and pedagogical choices are apolitical.   This mindless dissemination of mainstream political ideology in the classroom is both dishonest and harmful to students of college level economics.  
The choice of presenting a theory as apolitical; be it the theories of dominant bourgeois economics or otherwise,  is itself a political decision to continue to disseminate hegemonic ideology.   Economics does not exist in a world distinct from politics (and culture).  To pretend that the political realm of society in not shaping economic theory in the classroom and elsewhere is nothing short of insane.  Likewise it is not a leap to assume a dialectical relationship where economics classrooms are shaping political processes.  If the economic theory being presented in the classroom cannot help but to shape the politics of our students, those of us who prefer a politics different to that of the mainstream need to be much more careful in how we operate pedagogically than is the norm.   

1 comment:

Daniel MacDonald said...

I'm glad you ended up taking this perspective! Teachers have a responsibility -- and it's just as important for 3rd graders than angsty hipster college students at a "liberal" university. I'm sure you are going to make some people in the room squirm a little, but you're making a valid, interesting, usually-not-mentioned point and you cause us all to reflect on what we do in the classroom