the fourth space

those spaces in between life, thinking, the physical world, and humanity

Maxine Greene: “spaces where we can envision other ways of being”



“They (the arts) may, now and then, move us into spaces where we can envision other ways of being and ponder what it might signify to realize them. But moving into such spaces requires a willingness to resist the forces that press people into passivity and blanc acquiescence. It requires a refusal of what Foucault called “normalization,” the power of which imposes homogeneity and allows people “to determine levels, to fix specialties, adn to render the differences useful by fitting them one to another” (1984a, p. 197). To resist such tendencies is to become aware of the ways in which certain dominant social practices enclose us in molds, define us in accord with extrinsic demands, discourage us from going beyond ourselves and from acting on possibility.

In truth, I do not see how we can educate young persons if we do not enable them on some level to resist such tendencies and to open clearings for communicating across the boundaries, for choosing, for becoming different in the midst of intersubjective relationships. In part, I argue for aware engagement with the arts for everyone, so that individuals in this democracy will be less likely to confine themselves to the “main text,” less likely to coincide forever with what they are” (Greene, 1995, p. 135).

Greene, M. (1995). Releasing the Imagination – Essays on Education, the Arts and Social Change. Jossey-Bass: San Francisco, CA.


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This entry was posted on February 21, 2013 by .
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