I am about to revisit my old friend, The Ignorant Schoolmaster. It is online for free, and while I was looking for the exact web address I came across this summary of it on wikipedia:

Rancière’s book, The Ignorant Schoolmaster: Five Lessons in Intellectual Emancipation, published in 1991, has earned its reputation as a must-read (according to Briankle Chang) for educators and educators-to-be. In the text, through the story of Joseph Jacotot, Rancière challenges his readers to consider equality as a starting point rather than a destination. In doing so, readers are asked to abandon all of the cultural deficiency and salvation themes so pervasive in educational rhetoric today. Rather than requiring informed schoolmasters to guide students towards prescribed and alienating ends, Ranciere argues that educators can channel the equal intelligence in all to facilitate their intellectual growth in virtually unlimited directions. The schoolmaster need not know anything (i.e., s/he may be ignorant). No longer should the oppressed feel bound to experts or reliant on others for their intellectual emancipation. Because all are of equal intelligence, and everything can be found in everything, the poor and disenfranchised should feel perfectly able to teach themselves whatever it is they want to know. Anyone can lead. One need not let one’s ignorance stand in the way of embarking on the journey towards personal and/or collective intellectual emancipation.

A good summary, similar to how I would summarize it. The link to the entire wiki entry is:


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