Epistemologies of Ignorance in Education

Erik Malewski, Purdue University
Nathalia Jaramillo, Purdue University

Published 2011

Epistemologies of Ignorance provide educators a distinct epistemological view on questions of marginalization, oppression, relations of power and dominance, difference, philosophy, and even death among our youth. The authors of this edited collection challenge the ambivalence – ignorance – found in the construction of curriculum, teaching practices, research guidelines, and policy mandates in our schools. Further, ignorance is also considered a necessary by- product of knowledge production. In this sense, the authors explore not only issues of complicity but also issues of oppression in spite of educators’ liberatory intentions.

While this is the first systematic effort to transfer epistemologies of ignorance to the educational scene, this movement has its roots in race, class, gender, and sexuality studies, particularly the work of Charles Mills, Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, Shannon Sullivan, and Nancy Tuana. It is our unequivocal belief that, while this is transformative and powerful scholarship, the study of ignorance remains understudied and under-theorized in education scholarship, from curriculum studies and cultural foundations to science education and educational psychology. This collection highlights without apology why this dangerous state of affairs cannot continue.

Preface: Towards a Decolonizing Epistemology, Peter McLaren. 1. Epistemologies of Ignorance, Erik Malewski and Nathalia Jaramillo. 2. Committing (to) Ignorance: On Method, Myth and Pedagogy With Jacques Rancière, Molly Quinn. 3. Towards an Animal Standpoint: Vegan Education and the Epistemology of Ignorance, Richard Kahn. 4. Labyrinth of Ignorance, Nathalia E. Jaramillo and Sandro Barros. 5. Socrates, Dialogue, and Us: Ignorance as Learning Paradigm, J. Gregory Keller and Deborah Biss Keller. 6. Locating the Foundations of Epistemologies of Ignorance in Education Ideology and Practice, Dolores Calderón. 7. Suffering With: Seven Moments of Ignorance, Alexandra Fidyk. 8. Student Suicide: The Relevance (and Luxury) of Ignorance, Teresa Rishel. 9. Let the Body Out: A Love Letter to the Academy From the BODY, Celeste Snowber. 10. Unknown Knowers: Mediating Knowledge in the “Global Village” Stuart J. Murray. 11. Carnival of the Uncanny, Peter Appelbaum. 12. Reading Have We Known Rivers?: Indigeneity, Language, and the Significance of Epistemologies of Ignorance for Curriculum Studies, Erik Malewski. 13. The Riot In My Soul–Part I: A Critical Rant on Race, Rage, Ignorance and the Limits of Formal Education on These Matters, Denise Taliaferro Baszile. 14. Epilogue: Epistemologies of Ignorance, Erik Malewski and Nathalia Jaramillo.