Friday, August 17, 2012

Postmodern pronunciation practice . . . as therapy

The "clinical" in "Haptic-integrated clinical pronunciation" is key to understanding the focus and methodology of EHIEP (Essential Haptic-integrated English Pronunciation)--and much of what passes as pronunciation instruction in general. The central focus of Scott's 2007 article, Teaching as Therapy, is the postmodern replacement of the "moral" in education with "emotion," in part realized in the "hyper-individualization" of contemporary Western culture:

"Contemporary approaches to teaching (‘constructivism’), then, are not necessarily an educational cause to celebrate, or indeed the ‘reform’ that the dominant rhetoric paints them to be. Rather they are a remaking of education and schooling to match the ideals of the postmodernist (hyper-individualist) era, which, it would seem are neither better nor worse than what went before, merely different . . . the pain and uncertainty of the postmodernist project of self creation, with its heavy and inescapable burden of responsibility, goes a good way to explaining why ‘constructivist’ approaches are resisted by students. Sensibly, it would seem that they prefer to leave the responsibility with their teachers rather than to risk being found inadequate for the task of constructing themselves and their learning."

That we must now "manage" emotion in teaching is, as Scott later notes, both inevitable and predictable. But the degree to which we are actively involved in assisting students in "the task of constructing themselves and their learning" is the question--especially the latter. The EHIEP system does, from that perspective, depart from radical constructivism, exerting extensive and direct control over early pronunciation learning, including responsibility for moment-by-moment classroom instruction. 

Great, Scott! I feel better already . . . 

1 comment:

Bill Acton said...

OMG! I may have just coined a new term or started a new movement: Constrictivism! Problem is, of course, that to be theoretically consistent, I'll have to keep it tightly under wraps . . .strictly controlling how it is used and what is said about it . . . Rats. (Nezumitachi!)

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