Associate Professor Norm Friesen presented yesterday at the University of Kiel in Germany and is presenting today at the Institute of Education at the University College of London.
Yesterday, his keynote address focused on The Lecture as a Transmedial Pedagogical Form: An Historical Analysis. Friesen says lectures have been maligned as a pedagogical form, yet they persist and even flourish in the form of the podcast, the TED talk, and the “smart” lecture hall.
He said lectures still remain a valuable pedagogical genre in which media are incorporated for didactic purposes, bridging oral communication with writing and other media technologies. His analysis shows the lecture to be a remarkably adaptable and robust genre that combines textual record and ephemeral event, and that is capable of addressing a range of different demands and circumstances, both practical and epistemological.
Today (Wednesday Feb. 27) in London, he’s speaking on the late German pedagogical theorist Klaus Mollenhauer.
Friesen discusses a number of core themes that emerge from Mollenhauer’s work. These include Mollenhauer’s understanding of Bildung as a biographical and experiential “way of the self” that is marked by a particular “pathlessness.” Referencing Wittgenstein in ways unconventional for education, Mollenhauer shows how this path or pathlessness is characterized not so much by success and triumph as by loss and renunciation. These themes also include the recovery of a concrete, personal language for education, rather than one abstract and generalizing. Finally, Dr. Friesen suggests, with Mollenhauer, that the broader task of remembrance, and thus of education itself, is as much one of difficulty and paradox as it is one of recovery and clarification.