In Resistance to Subjugation: Unschooling and Counselling Practices as Ethical Posture
De Balasi, Elizabeth
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This thesis brings to light the underlying concepts that weave unschooling and collaborative counselling together, and suggests a reconsideration of teaching practices in a counsellor training program. The work, presented in an autoethnographic format, explores the author’s journey of profound respect in parenting and unschooling—experiences which were subsequently illuminated in the context of a counsellor training program. In this thesis, postmodern collaborative counselling philosophies and practices provide a vocabulary for, and new understandings of, unschooling and the values that animate its practice. In turn, unschooling literature and practice and literature on liberatory pedagogy provide a lens through which to analyze the shortcomings of current frameworks in higher education. For the author, studying counselling in the context of a traditional institutional structure highlighted disrespectful and subjugating practices in education—practices that support dominant philosophies of deficit, separateness and professionalization in interpersonal relationships. The author calls into question current teaching practices and offers propositions for ethical and accountable practices in counsellor training, with a view to their generative and transformational potential. The author further establishes the relevance of this critique to an ethical counselling practice.