This paper locates the concept of learning among real-life human experiences and events. Functioning as a sign, a meaningful event can be understood in terms of a cultural extra-linguistic “text.” Reading and interpreting diverse cultural “texts” are equivalent to constructing and learning critical symbolic lessons embedded in a continuous process of our experiential, both intellectual and ethical, growth. The paper employs Julia Kristeva’s theory of the abjection and her method of semanalysis as a synthesis of philosophy, psychoanalysis and semiotics. Extending semiotic analysis to the level of informal education, the paper asserts that real-life events, such as the destruction of the Twin Towers on September 11, can become a means towards constructing the cultural pedagogy of hope paramount to sustaining a global society.
Studies in Philosophy and Education Vol. 26, Issue 3, p. 253-265