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The power of living knowledge: re-imagining horizontal knowledge

Ivinson, G (2019) The power of living knowledge: re-imagining horizontal knowledge. Asia-Pacific Journal of Teacher Education. ISSN 1359-866X

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Abstract

© 2019, © 2019 Australian Teacher Education Association. Educationalists tend to imagine school curricula organised solely around academic, formal knowledge or horizontal discourse. Yet, despite curricula organised around vertical discourses such as science, geography and mathematics, the working classes, the poor and minority ethnically groups achieve less well in education than the middle classes. The paper aims to re-think horizontal knowledge by paying attention to it as place-based, sensory, embodied, indigenous and historically developed forms of knowing in order: 1) to broaden debates about school knowledge; 2) to support teachers to recognise and legitimate forms of knowing beyond those prescribed by academic curricular and 3) to re-imagine it as living knowledge that has value. To illuminate what might be powerful in horizontal knowledge Gilbert Simondon’s genetic ontology and his concepts of pre-individuation, persons are not fixed for all time, and transindividual, a uniquely collective form of knowing, are introduced. The paper argues that by re-thinking horizontal knowledge young people can be imagined as having multiple ways of being and education can support them to become more; more than social class, more than poverty, more than an exam failure and more than an individual, fixed for all time.

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