Friday, January 6, 2012

Nomad: No Passport/Too Many

So think about what Rosi Braidotti (1994) writes:
The nomad is only passing through; s/he makes those necessarily situated connections that can help her/him to survive, but s/he never takes on fully the limits of one national, fixed identity. The nomad has no passport – or has too many of them (p. 33).

Trying to Find Home (M.A. Reilly, 2011)

This idea of nomadic identity raises some interesting possibilities related to schooling and learning and connects powerfully with work by Deleuze and Guattari (1987) who write that "the life of the nomad is the intermezzo" (p. 381). Deleuze (1995) adds that nomads "transmute and reappear in the lines of flight of some social field" (p. 153).

A couple of questions I am wondering about:
  • How might the concept of nomad be applied to education?
  • What types of engagements allow for learners who have no passport or too many?
  • How might we, in the design of learning, help students unfix their school identity/ies?

Work Cited

Braidotti, Rosi. 1994. Nomadic subjects: Embodiment and sexual difference in contemporary feminist theory. New York: Columbia University Press


  1. Great ideas to contemplate. I must say that our curriculum is so multi-faceted that I don't think we have nomads at our elementary school, yet children experience nomadic moments in certain curriculum threads. I must say that the addition of our NING social network has really provided an avenue for everyone to engage with the class. Students whose families were outside of the typical social circles due to schedules, jobs, culture and geography are now integrated daily through comments, images, and posts. Our curriculum provides many opportunities for students to bring their lives, interests, questions and needs into the curriculum, thus there are few that are unknown or unconnected. In years past, I have had some nomads and I think we can better address their needs and issues with practices such as advising groups rather than homerooms (every teacher is an advisor w/a small group they follow throughout their tenure at the school), targeted homerooms, projects and learning opportunities, greater integration of arts and culture, and reaching out to the global sphere for connection and learning. Plus, we have to think more serious about our students who face significant emotional struggle--there is no place to catch these students, whereas many who face significant learning disability are caught with the use of special educator services and ieps. Sorry for going on and on--this is such an important discussion and you've presented it in a way that I want to continue to think about.

  2. the life of the nomad is the intermezzo..

    no passport, or too many.

    love it Mary Ann.

  3. @Maureen, it seems like there are many ways to be at your school, as well as ways to come to know. It must be a comfort to chidlren and their families to learn in such a place. I'm always so pleased to read of such positive places and thrilled for you and the children that the arts are privileged.

  4. @ Monika, i thought the idea would resonate with you.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.