oa Journal of Education - Education, imagination and forgiveness

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0259-479X



In this article I reflect on teaching and learning in a Masters programme in education policy studies with which I have been involved with for the past two years. To my mind, the theoretical framework which has underpinned our teaching and learning in this project relates to seminal ideas of Hannah Arendt and Maxine Greene, in particular their understanding of action and imagination respectively. I critically explore moments in our teaching and learning which lean towards imaginative action. One of our breakthroughs has been to act imaginatively through exploring possibilities as to how forgiveness can be harnessed beyond the university classroom. However, our pedagogical classroom encounters have not been without their dilemmas such as the students� canonical reading of texts, their uncritical reliance on teachers� authority, and their claim about the conclusiveness about the outcomes of education. This in turn brings into question the aims of our ambitious project � to stir students to reach out on their own initiative, engage them in critical thinking, and to share in a dialogue where there is always more to be discovered and more to be said (Greene, 1995). Our narrative is still in the making, which implies that our imaginative action agenda with postgraduate students in education policy studies at a South African university should not be abandoned but �released through many sorts of dialogue� (Greene, 1995, p.5). This is necessary in order that our teaching and learning �disclose the ordinarily unseen, unheard, and unexpected� (Greene, 1995, p.28), such as happened when we dialogically discovered a language of forgiveness.

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