chapter  14
14 Pages

The Sea of Possibilities: The Learning Journal as Pedagogy of the Unconscious

WithFitzGerald Jennifer

This chapter discusses a less ambitious strategy, which nevertheless can facilitate students’ understanding not only of the world but also of themselves — of how their identities, assumptions, behaviour and relationships are constructed. The learning journal, familiar in Women’s Studies as a means of integrating personal experience and academic learning, encompasses the affective dimension. The chapter addresses — anecdotally, through illustrations of a handful of pseudonymised journals — the difference age might have on the journal-writer’s ability to unpack the fixed sense of ‘self’ and to recognise her position in a dynamic of discourses, interests and positions. If the pedagogy of the unconscious aims at exploring the intimate ways in which our identities are discursively constructed, it is worth taking these differentials into account. The chapter aims to compare journals by young adults and by mature students. It examines the reactions to social constructionism, and focuses on journals confronting poststructuralism.