Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Artistic Insubordination: Ethics at Work (not Work Ethic)

    • The mirror in a middle school girls’ restroom is rusted to the point that one can not see her reflection.  The Principal recognizes that not being able to primp properly before class is making girls tardy to class and affecting their learning.  She asks the janitorial staff to replace the mirror.  The district has a policy that mirrors are not replaced unless they are broken.  The Principal calls the district to confirm, and promptly breaks the mirror with a hammer in order to solve this problem.
    • Creative or Artistic Insubordination emerged as a concept in the 1970s, according to Eric Pitts, a graduate student in Counseling at Western Carolina University, to do the most amount of good, while minimizing the repercussions from superiors.
    • Already presented at international conferences, with a head nod from the Executive Director of the University Council for Educational Administration (UCEA), their goal is to legitimize Artistic Insubordination as an alternative to teachers (and others) who want to “do good” rather than just “do no harm” through their work.  Kappan Journal will publish an article on their research as well
    • Many, nearly all bureaucratic structures are perceived by the citizenry as rigid, inflexible and unaccommodating.
    • it is recognized by those in public servant leadership positions as an effective means of accomplishing things quickly that would otherwise take months or years.
    • No Child Left Behind and the attitude of some state legislatures and governors has made creative insubordination a regular part of staying afloat in teaching.

My question here is this:  are there more examples of this out there and how could teachers use this to change draconian filtering policies, for example?  Just asking.  Guerilla teaching for our students?  This isn't just about sticking it to the man, it is also about rising above groupthink and 'insane' institutional imperatives.  There have to be reasoned approaches to why we do what we do in school. If they are not reasoned, then they are fair game for ridicule, for challenge, and for artistic insubordination.

Here is the article:  http://www.filesavr.com/hanneli2009insufficientquestioningphideltakappan91365-69

Citation:     Hannel, I. (2009). Insufficient Questioning. Phi Delta Kappan, 91(3), 65-69.


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