Putting Philosophy to Work in the Classroom: Using Rhizomatics to Deterritorialize Neoliberal Thought and Practice

Sep. 01, 2013

Source: Studying Teacher Education, Volume 9, Issue 3, 2013, pages 219-235

As two teachers/researchers committed to the values of social justice in the classroom, the authors are deeply disturbed by the explicit and implicit ways that their education system, operating through neoliberalism, reproduces the inequalities of larger society. To problematize and deterritorialize dominant neoliberal notions of schooling, education, teaching, and learning in their classrooms, they embarked on a co/autoethnographic self-study of their teaching practice.
Their methods are underscored and informed by the Deleuzo-Guattarian notion of the rhizome, the multiplistic, nonlinear nature of which serves as an antidote to the hierarchical, dichotomous, and process–product rationality of neoliberal logic.

Findings, or becomings, indicate that the concepts of the rhizome can be practically put to work in the classroom to raise consciousness and inform thinking about resisting the neoliberal status quo. Combined with co/autoethnography, rhizomatics and rhizoanalysis offer the potential to connect across teaching practice, understand the political nature of teaching, and open possibilities for transforming teaching.

Updated: Nov. 09, 2016