Institute of Education 2012

Knowing and not knowing: thinking psychosocially
about learning and resistance to learning

The Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, London WC1H 0AL

Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th December 2012

The social world is saturated with powerful formations of knowledge that colonise individual and institutional identities. Some knowledge emerges as legitimised and authoritative; other knowledge is resisted or repressed.

Psychosocial approaches highlight the unstable basis of knowledge, learning and research; of knowing and not knowing. How do we come to formulate knowledge in the ways that we do? Are there other possible ways of knowing that are too difficult or unsettling for us to begin to explore? Do we need the authority of legitimised institutions and regularized methods to build secure knowledge? What might it mean to build insecure edifices of knowledge? How can/should we trouble notions of knowledge in processes of teaching, learning and research? How does knowledge circulate and how is it implicated in exclusionary social processes?

The conference aim was to generate discussions to help us to explore and develop psychosocial conceptualisations of knowing and not knowing, learning and resistance: the flows and blockages positioned within individuals and institutions, and within the discursive and material processes that constitute these social identities. We aimed to encompass the various and contrasting ways these ideas are interpreted in psychosocial approaches to research and practice.

A number of papers from the conference have been published in Pedagogy, Culture and Society: Volume 22, Issue 1, 2014