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Narrative Theory

Life Politics: conversations about education and culture

Mediation is the Message

Interview with Ivor Goodson by Daniel Feldman and Mariano Palamidessi. Published (in Spanish) in Revista del Instituto de Ciencias de la Educación, Año IX, No 17. Buenos Aires, December 2000

QUESTION: We found very interesting your idea about the ‘crisis of positionality’ and the way in which this processes can change the sense of our practices and discourses...

IVOR: Let me give you an example. The National Health service was a democratic invention, in 1945, of the Labour government where the rich and the poor were in beds together, waited on by nurses, and my wife use to be one of those nurses, who could give equal treatment, in the same room, to rich and poor. So it was a demo­cratic health service. But since the conservatives took over in 1979, with Thatcher, the health service has been transformed into a privatised situation: the rich in one room or in a different hospital, the poor in other hospitals. So my wife, even if she’s in the same hospital, her work has been repositioned. She’s either now just serving the rich, or the poor. But I mean, she’s no longer dispensing democratic health care, equal to all, and inclusive. She’s just giving second rate health care, reduced health care, under-financed health care to the poor people. So even though she believes the same things, she’s in the same hospital ward, with the same beds, her work has been repositioned. And that’s the crisis of positionality. We haven’t changed, our own identity, our own beliefs, our own ideology, our own personal project is the same, but it’s been repositioned. We can hold on to our own beliefs, but if we do not contest structural change, we are repositioned, in spite of our beliefs.

QUESTION: And how do you see the impact on the curriculum theory?

IVOR: I think it's very similar. Let’s change the map again so, the year is 1965, I’m teaching in a complementary school, the room is full of rich children, poor children, children with high academic ability, children with less defined academic ability. We teach them all equally, we attempt to create an inclusive pedagogy. And it’s a mixed ability classroom. Now, if I were in the same classroom, the rich would have gone away to a private school, the middle class would have gone to a charter school, I would be left in a school essentially for the poor in the wrong part of town, with less resources. I would still be believing in the same things, still believing in democratic schooling, still wanting to include everybody, but everybody wouldn’t be there.

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  • Date of publication: 01/05/2012
  • Number of pages (as Word doc): 154
  • Publisher: Sense publishers
  • Subject:
    Narrative Theory
  • Available in:
    English
  • Appears in:
    Life Politics: conversations about education and culture
  • Number of editions: 1
  • Paperback
  • Price of book: $39
  • ISBN: 978-94-6091-538-3
  • Purchase this book:
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