Measure Twice, Cut Once. An Auto-ethnographic Narrative - Reflecting on Knowledge

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Philosophy of Education Society of Australasia (PESA)

Questions concerning measurement and assessment in the classroom most often refer to learning outcomes, achievement statements and value-added progression in literacy and numeracy, to suggest some key examples. This close-ended fascination with 'what counts' runs counter to notions of curricula that articulate an aspirational agenda, as well as to contemporary concepts of 'futures education' or '21st century learning'. A central unquestioned matter underlying these conceptions of contemporary education seems either to overlook or to recast the place and role of knowledge and its relation to pedagogy. Does knowledge count for anything any longer? Did it ever really matter, anyway? Is 'knowledge' no more than a signifier of the dominant discourse? Is knowledge–building an emergent process that should focus on the engagement of the individual, removing the imposition of uniform objectives for teaching and learning with prearranged outcomes? The authors of this presentation come from different perspectives on these questions. They seek to challenge not only their own thinking on these questions, but to also challenge the way in which philosophical and theoretical research might be presented to a critical audience. Naughton takes a position that knowledge is emergent, and will draw on Osberg and Biesta as reflective of this position. Benade takes the view that there is a body of disciplinary knowledge to be acquired and will draw on Young, Moore and Rata as reflective of this position. This presentation will not only consider the variation and tensions that exist between these positions, but will seek to do so by adopting a form of auto-ethnographic narrative method. The authors agree on one point: they are unsure of what the outcome of this presentation will be.

In Edited Proceeding of the 43rd PESA International Conference – 2013, pp. 80-81.
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