Biological Pedagogy as Concern for Semiotic Growth

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Deweyan pedagogy seeks to promotes growth, characterized as an increased sensitivity, responsiveness, and ability to participate in an environment. Growth, Dewey says, is fostered by the development of habits that enable further habit formation. Unfortunately, humans have their own habitual ways of encountering other species, which often do not support growth. In this article, I briefly review some common conceptions of learning and the process of habit-formation to scope out the landscape of a more responsible and responsive approach to taking growth seriously. What emerges is a reflexive biosemiotics that has humans explicitly concerned with the in situ emergence of new signification in themselves and in other organisms. This requires we take a pedagogical stance in our attitudes and practices towards other species, which we can enrich with insights derived from re-interpreting traditional empirical studies. By freeing the habit-forming process from confining stereotype, a biological pedagogy can enable a more fluid and creative biosphere, unencumbered to explore unfolding possibilities in semiotic space.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-88
Number of pages16
Issue number1
Early online date6 Jun 2013
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


  • Biological pedagogy
  • pedagogical stance
  • intentional stance
  • Dewey
  • growth
  • semiotic growth
  • interspecies education
  • semethic interaction
  • learning


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