There is no question higher learning is undergoing some radical changes driven in varying degrees by technology, economic rationalisation and a neo-liberal conservative agenda—and I would add direction as a euphemism for the paucity of leadership equal to the task. This is felt nowhere more keenly than in the broad categories of the Arts and Humanities, whose qualitative contribution to culture and society eludes consideration in budgets and bottom lines. As a grassroots response to the dilemmas of the 21st Century, namely anthropogenic climate change and the Anthropocene, I turn to philosophy to map a tentative process for the transformation of everyday life. My presentation focuses upon the deeper concerns of higher learning, ultimately not bound to the fate of institutions but rather the enduring principles, values and integrity they maintain, contextualising higher learning in the province of philosophy rather than specialisation, industry and enterprise. My argument is that higher learning is best understood as a process that involves creative practices as pedagogy, in the context of relationship (facilitating learning), vocation (a calling), livelihood (meaningful work that supports community) and place-making (a community in the web of life). I take these themes up following the later Foucault’s work on the ‘care of the self’, articulating the specific everyday creative practices of philosophy, as a way of life and community. The ‘culture of the self’ I am theorising is indeed a culture of pedagogy that blossoms as an ecology of care—an art of existence and an ethos for a more than human world.
Satchell, KM, Milatovic, M & Wessell, A 2014, 'Higher education: creative practice as pedagogy', paper presented to the SCU Scholarship of Teaching Symposium, Lismore, NSW, 23 September.