By C. Joldersma

Joldersma applies Levinas's ethics systematically to the commonplaces of schooling - educating, studying, curriculum, and associations - and elucidates the position of justice and accountability and the that means of calling and idea in schooling.

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More broadly, student autonomy is often a stated goal of school learning. In this approach, formal schooling interprets the nature of being a student by telling a story of developing autonomy, where autonomy means being self-directed and controlled. This was not only the message of Locke, Rousseau, and Kant, but recent educational theorists have also advocated this understanding of the student. For example, Meira Levinson argues that formal education is obligated “to help [students] develop their capacities for autonomy” (Levinson, 1999, p.

Although the term heteronomous can mean several things, I employ it to indicate a subject defined not first as free but in terms of inspiration. This sense of subject is more primary than that of freedom. The depth of subjectivity is an ethical relationship to the other; this primordial subjectivity is hidden when we model subjectivity exclusively as agency and autonomy. The relationship with the other uncovers the subjectivity of being inspired by the other. The asymmetry of learning We can now depict the ethical relation associated with learning.

It requires relinquishing inadequate conceptualizations or erroneous assumptions before one really knows what is more adequate. Becoming critical of oneself requires an other, a teacher, from whom one learns to be self-critical. Of course, if it is to lead to autonomy, learning from another cannot simply be a purely passive reception of information transferred from the teacher to the student. Those championing the autonomy of the student are quite right about criticizing simple information transfer as an inadequate model.

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