and decide future courses of action” for the good of society and the world (Smith, 2001,
p. 68). Frankly, the exercise of judgment would not be possible if the would-be social
actor felt she/he were unequal to those around her/him, trapped in an inferior and
subordinate position of intelligence lacking confidence to understand. Such a disposition
would extinguish any hope of social action leading to the renewal of the common world
before it even began.
In answering his own question, “What is education for?” Biesta (2010) contends
“that any education worthy of its name should always (his emphasis) contribute to
processes of subjectification that allow those educated to become more autonomous and
independent in their thinking and acting” (p. 21). Genuine subjectification is realized
through the independent action of the emergence of the political actor, not the co-
dependent reliance on someone else’s plan of emancipation. Again, according to
Ranciere (1991) the pathway to subjectification and emancipation is made possible by
personally embracing the belief that we are all equally intelligent, and by derivation, all
equal. We must start here. To do otherwise is damning. To start with the belief that we
are not equally intelligent, that some are smart and some are dumb, simply reifies and
reinforces notions of inequality. If the “dumb” student is waiting on the “smart” teacher
to lead her or him to the Promised Land, it will never happen. They both will be
wandering in the desert of inequality forever. “Never will the student catch up with the
master, nor the people with its enlightened elite; but the hope of getting there makes them
advance along the good road, the one of perfected explications” (Ranciere, 1991, p. 120).
Ranciere’s use of the word explications is of central importance. Ranciere argues that
explication teaching by explanation is deleterious to the cause of subjectification and
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