On Thinking Theoretically

What do we do as critical social theorists? Defend what we have already created and, if the issue is to reclaim knowledge at the level of society for the social individuals that created it, we must dissolve the contemporary entrepreneurial university and reconstitute the university in another more progressive form. This reconstituted university should be based not on academic freedom: freedom for academics, but on mass intellectuality (Negri et al): knowledge production is something that anyone can do (to paraphrase the students in Paris in 1968). How do we do this?

Firstly, a fundamental reappraisal of the learning landscapes of higher education based on the concept of the idea of the university.

Secondly, reconstitute the relationship between student and academics – not as student as consumer, but as student as producer: students working in collaboration with academics as part of the academic project of the university.

Thirdly, base this on a pedagogy of excess – not students acting as students but as revealers of a general crisis, raising the protest to the level of society, in excess of where their student education might have been expected to take them, and us.

All of this is our responsibility as academics and students to create the framework for a critical and intellectual debate.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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