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Any serious teacher will know exactly what I mean. The Spanish have a good name for this untutored perspicacity, Grammática parda or tawny grammar, a kind of wild and dusky mother-wit. But Intelligence Potential does not respond well to methodological attack. It is “activated” by only one form of “stimulus”—personal engagement on the part of committed, erudite, and enthusiastic teachers. And this is why the new approaches or teaching paradigms, based on pre-formulated “objectives” and “outcomes,” constant assessment, quantifiability and performance replication, are entirely nugatory and even destructive in their pedagogical effects. They rob teachers of their ardor and independence while commodifying students into reified and predictable abstractions meant to conform to a set of prior stipulations.
In these circumstances IP is always neglected—and hence squandered as a primary pedagogical resource—since it cannot be caught in the analytic seines and logistical nets of a rigid or nomethetic taxonomy. Its truth, to adapt Michel Foucault’s words from an early article, La maison des foux, is “not given by the mediation of instruments but produced directly, inscribed in the body and soul of a single person.” In other words, it is only the living self with all its flaws, desires, resentments, appetites and possibilities, the self which must be met and known, that provides the once and future set of sensible assumptions for educational practice. But the phantom “teacher” who haunts the pages of the education documents and the gameboy “student” whose “development” is controlled by alias procedures that work so beautifully in the formulaic dimension of figure, phrase, and digit never existed and never will.
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