Long Line: Avoiding Labels

This post is part of a series of posts pulled from a piece of writing I completed in November 2012. For more information on this series, see this post.

Context | Looking Back | Transformation | Looking Back at the Looking Back | Questions | On ethics | Letting Go of Nothing | Taking on Subject and Objects | On meaning making | Why the language of causality trouble me | Conceptual versus Empirical | Futuring | Temporality and Time | Brief Note | Back to Time | What to do with the Past | Some tools to help us be | An example from my past | Avoiding Labels | The educational turn | Being and curriculum | Curriculum of Being | Curriculum Futuring | On dispositions as ways of being | Being and pedagogy | Being and technology | Being and the body | References


Avoiding Labels

I think that I have now reached a point in this piece that I can turn to a few of the educational concerns that have been on my mind this term, with special attention given to curriculum and curriculum studies. All words written prior to this point have been a leading-up-to, a journey across the map, a laying-of-the-boundaries for the kinds of questions I want to engage in with others regarding educational research and discourse.

Labels are dangerous things. Especially when you get too boxed in by them. I am reminded of kids today who I would label as gay or lesbian who seem to shuck off labels with an ease that is proportionate with the difficulty it took me to “find” my label when I was younger. All the pages leading up to this point have been a demonstration of the steps I have taken in my inquiry into education and educational phenomena, but no one tradition, framework, philosophy, method, or theory seems to contain me. I could say that this endeavour is grounded in transformative learning theory, and it is, but that is not quite right. I could frame myself as a pragmatist after Rorty (and Dewey and Davidson), but that is still not all there is. The Analytic lives within me via Searle, Wittgenstein, and Rorty while the Continental remains strong through Heidegger, van Manen, Habermas, and Foucault. I think this evading labels draws me to Serres and Rorty (I would put Rorty in the same camp as Serres when it comes to leaping across disciplines and equalizing the humanities, natural and social sciences). If you let go of knowing things for certain, the Truth with a capital T, you end up in a place that is hard to describe. Knowing just does not do it for you anymore. But, at the same time, a loosening of knowing gives access to being and from being we point towards possibility. And possibility is where creation and invention live, point towards. On to education!



  1. I've been thinking along similar lines today... I read articles about MOOCs, CCSS, Public School reform, Vouchers and educational apps. These labels provide things for teachers and 'reformers,' to hold on to, but they don't provide anyone with actual innovation or beneficial teaching practices.


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