File spoon-archives/bourdieu.archive/bourdieu_2000/bourdieu.0004, message 19

Date: Thu, 13 Apr 2000 22:30:18 +0100
Subject: Re: Habitus and learning styles...

Your questions are indeed fascinating ones, and of absolutely central
importance to any reflexive educational practice.
Thanks to Bourdieu, I would like to think that I have become much more
aware of the relation of my own exucational habitus to that of my students.
This obviously becomes an increasing problem as one ages. It can also be
significant in relation to class, race and, in my case sexual orientation.
All one can do as a teacher is to try to make this issue transparent,
although it is difficult in a number of ways. There is resistance to
becoming aware of habitus, and I am hopefully learning that one has to
exercise tact. Students have to become aware of habitus (especially their
own) in time. One can't expect overnight miracles. I have in the past
thought that just by explaining it intellectually all would be
automatically transformed, with the wave of the scholastic wand! Alas, it
is not so; and it is utterly foolish, I now realize to think so. All we can
do as pedagogues is to be as sensitive and aware of this issue as possible
and hope that our teaching practice will in practice, in situ, reflect
In my experience there are a range of learning habitus, which one gradually
over time becomes more aware of. As a British public school and university
educated chap I immediately recognize the educational habitus akin to mine
and am likely to be highly critical of it, whereas there are other
educational habitus that I am not so likely to immediately recognize. The
whole matter is extremely delicate and complicated and worthy of endless
Finally, symbolic violence seems an inevitable part of the educational
process however much one may wish to minimalize it.
Roger (Cook)
The University of Reading
>I have a question that I hope you might be able to help with.  I am
>considering how students' learning styles are in opposition to an
>instructors' teaching style.  Before this, however, I'm trying to show
>that a learning style is a part of a persons' habitus.
>Would you agree?
>Is cultural capital a result of a persons' habitus?  Is a learning style
>better thought of as cultural capital?
>Does anyone have any thoughts on this symbolic violence when teaching and
>learning style don't match?
>Thank you.
>Gavin Young
>ps. If you can think of any resources to answer these questions, would you
>please reference them.  :)



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