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Chapter 2.3: The Educational Vortex in Bakhtinian Pedagogy

  • Eugene MatusovEmail author
  • Ana Marjanovic-Shane
  • Mikhail Gradovski
Chapter

Abstract

Deeply engaging the students in education is one of the strongest pedagogical desires of most educators. The desire is to make all students fascinated with a targeted educational subject, so they become active and enthusiastic in studying it. Student engagement is a primary marker of the quality of education. A disengaged student learns little or not at all and often disrupts the teacher and other, engaged students. Progressive educators’ belief expressed by the American educator Jerome Bruner is that “any subject could be taught to any child at any age in some form that was honest” (Bruner, Actual minds, possible words (p. 129). Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1986). The question is how an educator can find this “honest” way of teaching that creates “an educational vortex” of fascination for every student, which forcefully pulls them in to any curricular topic each moment of the lesson. In other words, the task of the educational vortex is to make students like, if not even passionately love, any academic subject and curricular theme that the society (or the teacher) finds important for them to learn. In this chapter we examine ways that Bakhtinian educators conceptualize and orchestrate an educational vortex in their practice. We discuss if it is always possible to achieve an educational vortex for every student’s engagement in every subject and whether the lack of an educational vortex is necessarily a marker of poor education. Finally, we discuss whether an educational vortex is even desirable as a pedagogical goal.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eugene Matusov
    • 1
    Email author
  • Ana Marjanovic-Shane
    • 2
  • Mikhail Gradovski
    • 3
  1. 1.School of EducationUniversity of DelawareNewarkUSA
  2. 2.Independent ScholarPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.University of StavangerStavangerNorway

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