Thursday, January 28, 2016

Boundaries and desire.

I have been reflecting on what motivates desire to act and what limits action in an institutional learning context.

As a teacher, there are varying constraints which limit action.

Some constraints are clearly desirable or even essential to our own existence, our identity or an institution's or a groups existence.

Faced with what is a considered unacceptable demand or threat, a person, a teacher even,  may be motivated to attempt to overcome, get around, ignore, physical, political, philosophical, pyschological, cultural, hierarchical...(other) limits.

Clearly what is acceptable to one person is not necessarily acceptable to another.

 The perceived risk of overcoming or simply ignoring constraints will clearly depend on the individual person or group.

At times, boundaries may be breached, or simply crumble and disappear.

Beliefs may over time change or be transformed.

Inside out, outside in.

Desire to act will depend on intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Desire to fulfill a role in an (educational) institution will depend on a mix of intrinsic and extrinsic factors.

Can one say that purely intrinsic motivation exists?

Perhaps not in a professional setting at least.

He notes that question for another day.

He returns to the confines of he institution.

There are days when we would rather be elsewhere...

There are days when a feeling of professional responsibility, a desire not to let down one's friends or colleagues in the lurch or a fear of losing regular/irregular income only just outweigh the desire to walk away...

The desire to not lose face amongst one's peers weighs heavily.

There are people in all professional activities who hate every moment of their professional existence.

There are people in all professional activities who would rather leave the work to the others...

There are people in all professional activities who have an overwhelming desire for power over others....

Man and machine...  

I am a 'fonctionnaire' - a servant of the state, in service to an education system.

I am a cog in a vast machine. Like all cogs which 'malfonctionne' I am replaceable.

Within a university,educational 'cog's are given more freedom of movement than in schools.

I may define within certain limits the program for the students, (indeed it is my responsibility). I may define the methods, the means of assessment.  Teachers are rarely if ever observed.  Students need to be seen to be, or believed to be in class at particular times and grades need to be rendered to the administration every term.  If I am requested to attend particular training or meetings I go.

Complaints are to be avoided.

The smooth running of the institution's administrative machine is primordial.

Then the machine ground to a halt.

A few days later

What on earth was I thinking?

This is all so complex.

Hurried Conclusion.

This is all so complex.


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