Phenomenology

Charismatic psychiatrist, sixties guru R.D.Laing denied the existence of mental illness famously declaring it: ‘a sane reaction to an insane situation’.  Enter phenomenology – the study of human experience and how human experience colours what we see.  This is also the core methodology of anthropology. It’s based on empathy. It’s 100% interactive. It’s intuitive. It’s intimate. It’s […]

Sub-texts

Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913) began the process of looking sub-surface in linguistics to explore the structural ‘langue‘ underlying the communicative vessel of ‘parole‘. Think harmony and melody in music for a parallel. Saussure’s ideas were then developed upon by other theorists to create new insights into language and society. In linguistics Chomsky sought out a universal grammar ‘hard-wired’ in the brain by delving […]

Paradigms

In 1962 Thomas Kuhn proposed that science moved forward in episodic jumps – or paradigm shifts: Ptolemaic science was displaced by the Copernican revolution, which in turn was displaced by Newtonian science, followed by quantum physics and relativity. French philosopher Michael Foucault proposed a similar model, using the word ‘epistemes’. These were historically changing knowledge presumptions operating […]

Globalisation

Globalisation is now such a well-known term that it hardly  needs to be re-stated. Nevertheless: The shrinkage of space and time through international commerce, travel, telecommunications and the internet. Post-industrial societies metamorphosing into information societies. Daily cross-currency exchanges reaching enormous sums. A trend towards global homogenization – some argue a ‘coca-colonialisation’ or ‘MacDonaldisation’.  Such are the normally […]

Collaboration

To go fast – travel alone. To go far – travel together. (African Proverb) On-line, the exchange of ideas, resources, teaching tips, advice, teaching posts and friendly chat is increasing exponentially. On-line, networking and circles of internet friends are growing. On-line, teachers are linking hands across the globe to challenge inequalities, fight against poor working conditions, raise […]

Plurality

Asking how many truths there are – is like asking how many grains of sand there are. Each and everyone of us holds grains of truth. This is plurality. This is what makes communicative exchanges fascinating. This is where we all equally learn – from each other.  To quote Mikhail  Bakhtin: “Truth is born between […]