Mandated Resistance, Embodied Shame: The Material and Affective Contours of a TESOL Method

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Authors:

Leya Mathew

Source:

TESOL Quarterly , Volume November 2017 (2017)

URL:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/tesq.420/full

Abstract:

<p>This article examines how a purportedly local, postcolonial reform effort to resist center-based methods is resisted by the students and teachers it seeks to serve. In this context, rather than take center and periphery for granted, the author attempts a processual geography of method. Drawing on data from a 19-month ethnography in the Indian state of Kerala, the author first traces the materials production process and reifications of resistance to argue that method produces centers. Specifically, privileged actors rearranged the terms of recognition from literacy to orality to resist supposedly structural, behaviorist pedagogies but in effect mandated resistance to locally available literacy resources. Then, foregrounding the&nbsp;quality of classroom life&nbsp;(Kumaravadivelu, 2006a) under reform conditions, the author witnesses diverse regimes of shame. Kumaravadivelu (2006b) distinguishes methods (“established methods conceptualized and constructed by experts”) from methodologies (“what practicing teachers actually do in the classroom” to achieve their teaching objectives, p. 84). Because the material and affective registers of classroom life emerged as crucial domains of experience, the author attempts an intersectional analysis that foregrounds the material (Block, 2015; Ramanathan, 2008) in conjunction with that of the affective (Motha &amp; Lin, 2013). Ethnographic attention to the “schema of agents, levels, and processes” (Ricento &amp; Hornberger, 1996, p. 408) entailed in the production and consumption of a method illuminates the multiple and complex ways in which marginality is engendered and lived</p>