Category Archive: Uncategorized

Apr 05

The story of the Textbook as a Foucauldian Genealogy

This is a recording of a presentation I recently gave at the Katholieke University of Leuven in Belgium, thanks to an invitation by Jan Masschelein.

Apr 02

Klaus Mollenhauer and Forgotten Connections – for AERA

Klaus Mollenhauer & Forgotten Connections from Norm Friesen on Vimeo. I put together this video to introduce Mollenhauer and his book: Forgotten Connections: On Culture and Upbringing. I’m presenting this together with presentations on Mollenhauer by Stefan Hopmann and Gert Biesta at AERA 2014 Here’s the handout and text for my presentation.

Feb 13

Waldenfels’ Responsive Phenomenology


Bernhard Waldenfels has been taking phenomenology in a new direction –one that has implications for phenomenologies of technology. Instead of focusing on intentionality and the relationship between self and other, he has, over more than a dozen books, articulated a philosophy of the “alien” and its relationship to “ownness.” Unlike the other, the alien is …

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Feb 08

The eTextbook: A Paradigm Shift?

The e-Textbook: A Paradigm Shift for Learning? from Norm Friesen on Vimeo. Will the e-textbook, with its multimedia potential and flexibility, bring a paradigm shift to education? In this video presentation, prepared for a keynote in Montreal in March, I try to answer this question by looking specifically at what the inventor of the “paradigm …

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Dec 09

Learning theory & MOOCs

Just got back from East China Normal University in Shanghai, where I gave this presentation. It frames the possible success of MOOCs (their demise is not yet a fait accompli) in terms of what I describe as “institutional learning.” In developing this notion, I refer to “pedagogical” or “school knowledge” that occurs in educational institutions, …

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Nov 18

Paradigm shifts and Educational Forms: A Textbook Case


This article just appeared in “Online First” for AERA’s Educational Researcher. It is intended as a kind of ‘sequel” to my study of the “transmedial history”of the lecture, which was published in the same journal in 2011. Both articles look at these familiar and often disregarded educational forms, not from the perspective of their inevitable …

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Nov 11

“Note to Self:” A Genealogy of the internal dialogue from Aurelius to Vygotsky


Referencing Foucault’s notion of “technologies of the self,” this paper/chapter traces the notion of the self-reflective, self-directed dialogue from the practices of the late Ancients (e.g. Aurelius) through Vygotsky to today’s digital tools of self-management and self examination. Here’s a link to the full text: “Note to Self” Here’s the abstract: This paper provides an overview …

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Oct 10

Faculty ProD Keynote: Simulation, Stimulation & Silence – Learning Online and Off

I gave this keynote at an excellent professional development event at my alma mater, the University of Alberta in August. CTL TECHKNOWLEDGY Symposium Keynote Here’s the abstract: Almost 20 years after the popular adoption of the Internet, we are still finding out about the nature of online places and spaces. Whether these locations are used …

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Oct 09

“On beyond Ong:” the bases of a revised theory of orality and literacy


J. Coleman’s Public reading and the reading public is excellent book that goes way beyond its ostensible medieval specialization, and offers a comprehensive critique of the antiquated ethnocentrism of the Ong / Goody approach to orality and literacy. This approach, which has been called the thesis of the “great divide” [Finnegan] and the “literalist civilization-theory” …

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Sep 06

Bernhard Waldenfels: Responsivity and Tele-absence


Two things regarding the contemporary German phenomenologist, Bernhard Waldenfels (pictured, right, with his wife Christine on his way to a Merleau-Ponty seminar in 1961): I’ve tracked down a hard-to-find piece by Waldenfels in which he explains one of the main points of his phenomenology, a change in focus “from Intentionality to responsivity” (also the title …

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