Disruption and Disagreement
Emancipation and Education in Clayton Christensen and Jacques Rancière
Keywords:education, technology, disruption, democracy, neoliberalism
In this paper, I will examine the varying uses of the concept of disruption in education, with particular focus on its use by Clayton Christensen and other ‘education reform’ advocates on the one hand, and Jacques Rancière’s ideas of dissensus and intellectual emancipation on the other. Despite the odd juxtaposition, the two ideas share deep similarities: both strive to democratize education through a structural shock to the status quo. However, I argue that it is more accurate to understand disruption rhetoric as technocratic in nature and deeply rooted in capitalism. Rancière’s understanding of disruption as liberation reflects a deeper and more fundamental disturbance to the status quo. I conclude by discussing the insights these concepts provide into neoliberalism and possibilities for resisting it.
Copyright (c) 2021 Evan Robert Farr
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