I don’t think I’d prefer to teach or learn about the history of rock music or the history of the French-American War, but exploring a history with rock music or a history with a French-American War seems fascinating to me. Notice here that my verbs are necessarily changed by my choices of articles and prepositions. We learn/teach about “the….of,” however it is hard to learn/teach about “a…with;” instead a more inquiry-prone verb seems necessary. Honestly, this differentiation of verbs was unconscious, yet unavoidable because “a…with” reframed how I conceptualized a focused “object” (for a lack of a better and less problematic word) of a learning experience. Subtle changes in my discourse elicited changes in my conception and then changes in how I approached acts of living-learning-teaching, three gerunds that Freire might see as completely wrapped up with one another.
As a thought experiment, let’s consider what other articles and prepositions might be problematic in living-learning-teaching. How might it mean to learn the theory of music? How might it mean to learn a theory with music? What might it mean to learn about melody? What might it mean to explore melody (no preposition)? What else might you think about? Please share below.