This project emerged from our struggle with institutional power in relationships of learning, in the relationship between us as teachers and our students, and in the relationship between us as students and our teachers. It emerged from our attempts – some failed some successful – to make these relationships healthier.
We love teaching. And we hate it – or at least the parts of it that are damaged by the effects of institutional power. Which is all of it. But not quite all of it, not irrevocably. As university researchers and lecturers in the humanities, with backgrounds in the study of literature, culture, and philosophy, we spend all our waking lives immersed in theory and criticism which helps us to deconstruct the very systems and institutions we are operating in. We believe that most educational procedures, mechanisms, and beliefs as they are being employed and held at the moment are – at best – counterproductive to proclaimed didactic and philanthropic goals in education and – at worst – harmful to learners and teachers alike.
Unconditional Teaching is a project of healing and a contribution to a growing number of calls for a reform of teaching practices in all disciplines. The aim of our writing is the positive framing and chronicling of alternative practices of teaching and learning: Practices that we hope can mitigate, subvert, and maybe even heal the toxic and damaging effects of institutional power and instead make room for better, more wholesome teaching and learning environments and improved teacher-student relationships.
Unconditional Teaching was launched in 2019 as a collaborative project by Jessica Koch, Katharina Pietsch and Tyll Zybura. We are researchers and lecturers at Bielefeld University, Germany. This project would never have happened without the support and feedback of our students, who have made it very clear to us that what we do in our seminars and what we have to say about education is meaningful to them!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.