The limits of individual autonomy

Iyer, Prakash (2020) The limits of individual autonomy. Teacher Plus. ISSN 0973-778

[img] Text - Published Version
Download (181kB)


I have been discomfited all day after this conversation with Anubhuti. We were discussing the process of learning and how concepts are formed in a child’s mind. She said, “Well we cannot say concepts are formed by a child; we create them in a child’s mind.” Before I could object, she clarified that it is possible children go through the process of learning concepts on their own, but we initiate the process by putting thought in their minds with the intelligent (even manipulative) pedagogical methods we employ. Moreover, the environment we provide in a classroom, the experiences we lead them to, one innocuous word we say, questions we ask…all this leads them to think in a certain manner. Forming concepts is not an original or creative enterprise you know. Absolute individual autonomy is a myth that we adults invent in order to feel good about ourselves. Finally, it is all indoctrination! They are learning what we want them to learn. They are thinking the way we want them to think.

Item Type: Article
Authors: Iyer, Prakash
Document Language:
Uncontrolled Keywords: Education, Values
Subjects: Social sciences > Education
Divisions: Azim Premji University > School of Education
Full Text Status: Public
Publisher URL:

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item