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Ignorance in a knowledge economy: Unknowing the foreigner in the neoliberal condition

Globalisation has thrown imagination and creativity into turmoil. The creative space of tertiary teaching struggles with conflicting ideals, as real and imagined boundaries are crossed, and educational borderlines change. Immigrant early childhood teachers have flocked to Aotearoa New Zealand in recent years, supported and desired by immigration policy and neoliberal institutional needs. In this paper I draw on Kristeva's (1991) suggestion that there is a foreigner within each of us, and that it is only by "recognizing him within ourselves" that "we are spared detesting him in himself' (p. 1). I problematize the notion of knowledge in relation to immigrant student teachers' self-formation as academic subjects with the suggestion of unknowability and ignorance as a realistic orientation to subvert the need for certainty. I represent the uncertainty of the erratic, seductive neoliberal condition with Bauman's notion of liquid modernity, and argue that knowledge of the other, even if it were possible, would be superseded and obsolete as rapidly as it is acquired. Afresh conceptualization of ignorance stretches the imagination of what is, inherently, a boundaryless educational space.
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Arndt, S. (2013). Ignorance in a knowledge economy: Unknowing the foreigner in the neoliberal condition. In T. Besley & M. A. Peters (Eds.), Re-Imagining the Creative University for the 21st Century (Vol. 2, pp. 123–133). Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers.
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