Throughout his life, Benjamin returned to questions of pedagogy and the ways in which children and adults come to know and learn. This essay explores his notion of Spielraum, or “playspace,” in relation to pedagogy. A pedagogy based on play is here explored in relation to three objects of Benjamin’s thinking: (1) film and cinema, where, through the actions of technology, time and space are exploded and realigned in ways that provoke reflection and action in modernity; (2) radio, a developing form into which Benjamin intervenes with educational lectures and playful learning models; and (3) toys, the primary material of children’s learning through play, types of tools, which Benjamin interprets in their relation to waste, debris, and destruction. Out of all these a revolutionary pedagogy of creative destruction emerges, one which proposes rebuilding the broken self and the alienated world.
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Esther Leslie; Playspaces of Anthropological Materialist Pedagogy:Film, Radio, Toys. boundary 2 1 May 2018; 45 (2): 139–156. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/01903659-4381064
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