Subverting the Notion of Student Satisfaction


  • Anne Pirrie University of West of Scotland




A question posed by an undergraduate student in education provides the starting point for this subversive exploration of two canonical notions in educational discourse. These are reflective practice and student satisfaction respectively. These concepts are generally considered in isolation. However, in this article they are brought into relation, with a view to examining the manifold tensions between them. The author draws upon the work of Edmond Jabès (1912-1991) in order to explore how literature opens the gates to the ethical imagination. She suggests that literature can make available the conceptual and emotional resources that enable us to think differently about the inter-relationship between reflective practice and student satisfaction. Both the form and content of the article attempt to demonstrate that Jabès’ The Little Book of Unsuspected Subversion (1996) speaks to the essential nature of intellectual endeavour more adequately (and far more vividly) than more conventional responses to the student’s question.


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