In recent years, conversations about posthumanism have been gradually moving into the field of education. This article contributes to the growing efforts to develop a posthumanist theory of education. The theoretical inspiration for the article comes from the writings of Jacques Rancière and Gregory Bateson. In both thinkers, the figure of the liberal humanist subject gives way to a deeper and more provocative sense of inter-subjectivity, indeed, intra-subjectivity. Taken together, Rancière’s and Bateson’s ideas hit a blind spot in contemporary educational discourse, particularly in relation to the rise of personalisation as a popular concept in practice and policy. This article juxtaposes the personalised learning movement with the increasingly common image of the vulnerable self/student to highlight the complexity of defining and locating the source of subjectivity, or one’s ‘will to learn’. Rancière’s and Bateson’s ideas are put into conversation to generate alternative approaches to the current conceptions of student-centred pedagogy.
- Gregory Bateson
- Jacques Rancière