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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Between immediacy and reification : quotidian pedagogy, narrative, and recovery of language and meaning in nature Feng, Francis Hueitsu


As an open pedagogical invitation, my dissertation is a contribution as critical interpretive ontology with the promise of hope based upon my father's Dao Li, or principled living as a quest for the good. An embodied sense of narrative as unity of life interweaves within my exploratory work bringing together virtue, praxis and narrative. Arising out of an existential angst in the passing of my father and in my attempts to grapple with the questions he posed, I wrote autopoietically " from the middle" out of life within the space between life, topic, theory and method. I was motivated by my deep concern that, as educators, we are caught within a cycle of the reification of life making us complicit in the ecological crisis of modernity. Situated within the conceptual genre of educational research, my work interprets modern conceptions of nature as deeply flawed, wherein the loss of nature from the discourse of modernity is implicated in the general loss of meaning and sense of loss of the sacred. Within this context, I interpret reification in an expanded Lukacsian sense, to be the supreme danger to life, even over capital, when modern discourse looms large, threatening to preclude all other ways of being. To recover a language and meaning in nature, I draw from the hermeneutical-phenomenological tradition, casting my work as onto-linguistic in immediacy within what I call quotidian pedagogy. My exegesis is located in the dialectical flux between reification and immediacy. Within this flux, I postulate three interventionist movements that I have labelled appropriately as deconstructive, topographic, and immediate, around a circuit of nature model. This heuristic traces the pathway from construction to waste and sedimentation, through three movements that collectively: 1) recover nature through tracing the loss of nature from the discourse; 2) remap modern discourse to include nature; 3) experience and deconstruct the present in immediacy over abstraction. Pedagogically, I feature interpretations of the everyday and lived curriculum over the planned curriculum. I cast my contribution to immediacy within these lessons of the immediate. Moreover, I argue that it is in these spaces of the immediate as they are occurring before us that we find the possibility for hope and escape from the circularity of reification.

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