Living Un/Grammatically in a Grammatical World: The Pedagogic World of Teachers and Students

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In my work with preservice teachers I face daily a dilemma. My student-teachers come to me with an urgent practical agenda: What do I need to know in order to survive in the world of school? In effect they want me to tell them how to fit into a world that they assume is structured like a grammar, with traditions and conventions and rules and patterns. They are seeking ways to conform to the pedagogic world as it has been written, but I hope they will seek ways to transform the pedagogic world, always written and always in the process of being written. I hope my student-teachers will seek ways to write, actively and deliberately and imaginatively, the pedagogic world of students and teachers. I want them to learn to live un/grammatically, to challenge the ways in which the world has been written for them, to know that they are not only written by the world, but that they also write the world. I invite my students to write the unwritten sentences, the sentences that interrogate and subvert syntax and semantics, the sentences that create spaces where my students can live un/grammatically.

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