In this dissertation I aim to present a place for teachers and students to encounter authenticity in education. At present, our cultural knowledge is imbued by fast moving attention spans that are fixated and entertained by the hyperreal, virtual world. The crux for most pedagogues is whether to compete with this virtual consciousness by reinforcing a traditional modernist’s approach to education or to merge with this new consciousness by introducing more technology in the classroom. I offer another insight, one that is grounded in the Real. I hope to provide a place that engages students and teachers in a Truthful space that exists between the symbolic order of education and the Real matter. By material I do not mean burlap or a conglomeration of atoms, I mean something more ontological and phenomenological: Realness--the spontaneous, unpredictable material that exists beyond the scope of discourse. By enacting a philosophy of education inspired by Deleuze’s and Guattari’s figuration of a rhizome, I map a pragmatic territory in which rhizomatic learning and writing is a field for students to experience authenticity in education. The concept of the rhizome as developed by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) in A Thousand Plateaus provides the ontology for the style of pedagogy and writing that I am unfolding in this essay. At the same time that rhizomes seem to grow in any scattered direction without structure, they produce a plant above the earth. One that is ordered and visible to any eye. It exists in a completely new terrain but is also interdependently linked to the one below. There are two planes to this dissertation: one that is formalized, argumentative, and academic, while the other plane is an attempt at authenticity and engagement with the Real. The interpellation of the academic with the authentic voices is articulatory for the ontology of ‘becoming’ within the rhizome. In this way the Real and Truth are not ignored but discovered and created within education. This dissertation is an attempt at embodying the paradoxical ontology of Truth that is essential to authentic philosophical writing and pedagogy.
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Thesis advisor: Bingham, Charles
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