Oz Never Did Give Nothing to the Scarecrow: Neurophenomenology and Critical Pedagogy

Robert Garfield McInerney


Using the film the Wizard of Oz, an illustrative comparison is made between the Scarecrow's learning experiences and our own. Like we often do, the Scarecrow reduces his potential learning and thinking abilities to nothing more than the formal operations presumably at work in the brain. Ostensibly lacking this brain, the Scarecrow solves nearly all the problems encountered in the journey to Oz. A neurophenomenological description of the Scarecrow's experiences reveals his prereflective, situated learning, and embodied cognition. These ways of learning are often ignored and devalued in our educational system. Can this same method reveal our own subjugated knowledges? Herein, neurophenomenology is demonstrated as a critical pedagogy that critiques and liberates subjugated knowledge and supports a richer assessment of human learning and thinking.

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ISSN: 1913-4711