The Student as (Peer) Producer ?

* Essay : The Student as Producer: A Pedagogy for the Avant-Garde; or, how do revolutionary teachers teach? By Mike Neary.

Summary / Abstract:

“In this paper I set out the intellectual ideas that lie behind the concept of Student as Producer, and how that idea is being developed across the sector and at the University of Lincoln. The theoretical basis for my work is derived from critical social theory grounded in avant-garde Marxism that developed in Soviet Russia after the Bolshevik uprising in 1917, before being suppressed by Stalin, and a group of modernist Marxists working in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s. A key issue for Student as Producer is that social learning is more than the individual learning in a social context, and includes the way in which the social context itself is transformed through progressive pedagogic practice. This transformation includes the institution within which the pedagogical activities are taking place, and the society out of which the particular institution is derived. At a time when the market-based model for social development appears increasingly untenable, the creation of a more progressive and sustainable social world becomes ever more necessary and desirable.”

Excerpt: Who is Student as Producer?

“Two writers – Walter Benjamin and Lev Vygotsky, the former linked to the movement of avant – garde Marxism in Europe in the 1920s and 1930s, and the latter to post revolutionary Soviet Russia – stand out as having a significant impact on the concept and practice of Student as Producer.

Together Benjamin and Vygotsky establish the key principles for a pedagogy for the avant – garde: that students are the subjects of the intellectual process of teaching and learning, and that a progressive pedagogy involves reinventing the politics of production from within, against and beyond the current social relations of capitalist production. The issue for them is not simply how do students learn, but how do radical intellectuals teach?”