Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity

Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity

Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity

Performance Theories in Education: Power, Pedagogy, and the Politics of Identity

Synopsis

Presenting a range of approaches to understanding the role, function, impact, and presence of performance in education, this volume is a definitive contribution to a beginning dialogue on how performance, as a theoretical and pragmatic lens, can be used to view the processes, procedures, and politics of education.

Excerpt

“Performance” like the very nature of “education” is a contested term. W. B. Gallic (1964) offered his notion of contested terms. “The recognition of a given concept as essentially contested implies recognition of rival uses of it (such as oneself repudiates) as not only logically possible and humanly likely/ but as of permanent potential critical value to one's own use or interpretation of the concept in question” (pp. 187-188). Hence throughout this book, the authors engage in varying uses of the term performance—using its many variations, permutations, and applications in a process of excavating, cultivating, and illuminating even newer ways of seeing the potency of performance as a theoretical lens in education. More importantly, it is an effort at using performance in the manner in which “critical pedagogy” is often constructed—as a critical lens of examining the “underlying power relationships that structure our world” and particularly the processes and politics of education (Leistyna, Woodrum, & Sherblom, 1996, p. v).

The definitional uses of performance in this book range from the strategic and the often aestheticized engagement of bodily activity with the intent of knowing through doing and showing, performance as systems of physical training in dance correlated to the habituated ways in which student bodies are cast and controlled in the classroom, performance as a . . .

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