Chapter 2.5: Bakhtinian Pedagogy in Conventional Educational Institutions

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


In this chapter we present tensions and struggles of Bakhtinian educators in conventional educational institutions. We have abstracted from our interviews six big themes of institutional struggles: (1) institutional survival; (2) preserving the spirit of Bakhtinian pedagogy; (3) treating opponents of Bakhtinian pedagogy dialogically; (4) involving students and colleagues in critique of conventional monologic pedagogy; (5) instrumental vs. ontological understanding of education; and (6) finding “weak spots” in educational hegemony and monopoly. In these diverse institutional struggles, Bakhtinian educators also experience internal tensions. We have found five such tensions: (a) imposing Bakhtinian pedagogy on all educational practices and institutions (monopolism) vs. education philosophy pluralism; (b) promoting Bakhtinian pedagogy by providing interesting practice measures vs. striving for transformations of the sociocultural contexts; (c) understanding of the primary ownership of education as societal vs. personal; (d) tensions resulting from colonization of Bakhtinian pedagogy by conventional monologic pedagogy; and (e) accepting vs. rejecting the oppressive educational reality. Finally, we discuss what kind of opportunities there are for Bakhtinian educators in conventional educational institutions, and their various strategies and failures in these institutions.


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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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