'Do babies dream of doctoral degrees?’: a public lecture by Professor Andrew Gibbons

Date: Tuesday 20 Jul, 4:30pm - 5:30pm
Location: 55 Wellesley Street EastAuckland 1010
Auckland
New Zealand
Cost: Free
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'Do babies dream of doctoral degrees?’: a public lecture by Professor Andrew Gibbons 07/20/2021 16:30 07/20/2021 17:30 Do you remember the film Boy? Do you remember that brief but powerful moment at the end of a school day when Boy, polishing the school floor for his detention, 55 Wellesley Street EastAuckland 1010, Auckland , New Zealand
Andrew Gibbons

Do you remember the film Boy? Do you remember that brief but powerful moment at the end of a school day when Boy, polishing the school floor for his detention, is told by his teacher that he “has potential”? And then Boy asked Mr Langston, “What’s potential?” When Mr Langston looks at his watch and says he doesn’t have time for Boy’s questions, Mr Langston reveals an enduring comedy and tragedy of education.

Potential is an educational cliché. It’s a device that shapes the experience of education for child and teacher in obvious and subtle ways, so it seems reasonable that teachers should be open to this question.

In his inaugural professorial address, Professor Andrew Gibbons takes Boy’s question seriously by asking his own question: Do babies dream of doctoral degrees? He approaches both questions through the philosophical work of science fiction writer Philip K Dick whose novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? explores the psychology and politics of human potential.

Andrew engages with the meaning of potential in early childhood education to explore the lived experiences of exploitation and
inequity for children and for their teachers.

Andrew is an early childhood teacher and teacher educator with the School of Education. He has worked in journalism in Matamata, in the social services in England, and in early childhood education in Auckland. His work brings together the philosophy of education and science fiction, in the study of early childhood education.

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