The Postcon Project

Concept

Postcon proposes an educational project that aims to create and develop an unconventional model for teaching. This model offers classical and technical training, plus a plethora of techniques and attitudes that separate it from the usual ‘communication’ courses.

We believe, presently, that education is an excellent leverage point for the changes that create a sound living environment where qualities such as curiosity, experimentation, self-abandonment and healthy emotional responses to the facts of life are norm.

Postcon has been active since 1998 and has been through many phases and projects, all somehow directed towards the present one, the crystallisation and materialisation of offering a course to the wide public.

The thinking behind the way we teach is manyfold and it is based on the latest, and some not so new, findings from fields as diverse as Neurology, Pedagogy, Ethics, Anthropology, Semantics, Linguistics, Systems thinking, and from a long and enduring tradition of implicit knowledge transferral from ‘Master’ to ‘Apprentice’.

The observance of how children learn is paramount to and an integral part of the design of our programs, exercises, demonstrations and homework assignments.

Postcon aims to create choices through education by:

Delivering courses where individual critical thinking takes precedence over classic, conditioned learning.

Giving participants practical and conceptual tools that allow them to become better practicing teachers or enter the teaching field as solid professionals.

Engaging participants into creating high quality work which will be unique and congruent with their person as a whole and relevant in the context of society at large.

Creating a course that will improve teaching performance and the ability to lead and inspire others.

Promoting a quality alternative to the mainstream ‘communication’ courses, where the focus is on each individual rather than spread over a large group.

Concept

Context

For an overview of what goes on behind the scenes here at Postcon, we present you with brief excerpts from an interview conducted by Ozra Kallian, PhD in 2012/2013.

OK
POSTCON sounds like a big corporation name. Where does it come from? What does it stand for?
PC

Postcon is short for Post-Contemporary. ‘Post’ meaning ‘after’, ‘contemporary’ meaning ‘of the present time’. It is a paradoxical term for, in theory, a post-contemporary moment is inexistent. In practical terms, no.

Post-Contemporary means from the future, looking sideways. Actually, it is more an attitude that an intellectualised concept.

OK
Postcon Education…what is it?
PC

It is a novel learning environment.

During my teaching career, both in private and state institutions, I realised that although teaching is a really exciting thing, it is still delivered in ways that lack a healthy amount of fun, playfulness and absurdity. Many times, in contrast, it lacks seriousness, precision and professionalism.

Postcon is drawing a learning map that will offer people tools — and teach them how to deploy them — to enable them to teach in a wholesome and congruent way. A participant that completes the course will be able to engage in critical dialogue about his or hers own work and be conversant with teaching techniques in a way as to produce exceptional results.

We propose to do this by creating learning environments and experiences in a intuitive and tacit way as to bring the participant to a place of unconscious competence in what they do. This is, in our opinion, the beginning of Artfulness.

We present teaching as a craft. We dwell into it, turn it around, play with it and have some fun in the process.

Postcon aims to slowly change the paradigm of Education as a whole. It sounds big and it is, but hey…it is a dream. Maybe. But one worth exploring.

OK
You present teaching as a craft. How so?
PC

Teaching is a craft! Something one learns to do, a language one learns to speak, so to say. It has its own grammar, vocabulary and semantics. That can be learned, improved upon, refined. As with all crafts, to become proficient, it needs constant development and self-assessment.

Craft, once mastered and elegantly performed above average becomes Art. You can observe it in any field of human endeavour, painting, sculpture, music, dance, cooking…why not teaching?

Anyway, Art is not a noun, it is an Adverb. So, not Art, but things done Artfully.

OK
How do you see the role of the teacher in society?
PC

That's a tricky one. I'll propose the following:
The younger students are, the better paid teachers should be! As opposed to what happens nowadays, where Professors get the hot money for relatively easy work, and primary school teachers are regarded as the bottom of the teaching chain. Alas, the latter should be highly paid and also highly trained to create what we want, isn't it? A bright, harmonious and strong future.

Interview (excerpts) © Ozra Kallian, 2013