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By Marshall Wise Alcorn Jr. (auth.)

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By Marshall Wise Alcorn Jr. (auth.)

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Extra resources for Resistance to Learning: Overcoming the Desire Not to Know in Classroom Teaching

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Philosophers (not to mention playwrights and poets) have known about this quality of the human mind for centuries. It was central to Freud’s thinking over a century ago. In more recent years, researchers have documented self-serving “reasoning” in a range of domains, including politics. (2007, 100) Barbara Herrnstein Smith, in Belief and Resistance, points out that even strong material disincentives to belief do not release individuals from tenacious commitments to established belief: Human history indicates that people will maintain their beliefs not only in the face of apparently contrary evidence but even when those beliefs have severely disagreeable and disadvantageous consequences for them—not to mention for many other people.

They know how to make silence loud. (2004, 120) As universities shift more and more to online learning and large classrooms, teaching of the kind done by Robert Divine is less available. Practices that make effective use of reflection and reverie are replaced by practices that distribute facts and use impersonal lectures to impart impersonal knowledge. 38 / Resistance to Learning What we lose is not just particular instances of effective teaching, but a finely crafted social practice that has been honed by years of direct classroom experience.

But Lacan’s insistence on our “passion for Emotional Demands / 41 ignorance” does not help us understand how to work with this passion when we encounter it in the classroom. ” Affect and emotion, Worsham argued, determine how the world of language, the symbolic, takes hold and binds the subject to a set of feelings, thoughts, and relations. Three particularly useful books have recently been published in this field: Doing Emotion: Rhetoric, Writing, Teaching by Laura Micciche, A Way to Move: Rhetorics of Emotion & Composition Studies by Dale Jacobs and Laura Micciche, and Teaching the Rhetoric of Resistance: The Popular Holocaust and Social Change in a Post 9/11 World by Robert Samuels.

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