Learning involves conceiving things as necessary

A Spinozist pedagogy would compel teachers to perceive things as “necessary” not as an arbitrary edict but because “it is of the nature of reason to perceive things truly (by P41), namely (by IA6), as they are in themselves, that is (by IP29), not as contingent but as necessary” (Spinoza, 1994a, pp. 59, P44 Dem.).

Teachers would need to have an adequate understanding of the multiple factors that have produced the topic they are teaching, and within that topic demonstrate to their students the different forces that had produced the subject of study. They not see what they are studying as “random” products of an arbitrary universe; they’d see what shaped and moulded their focuses for learning.

For example, in order for students to have an adequate understanding of poetry, they would need to know about the different contextual factors that had led to that poetry being written, the contexts of writing: the historical, biographical and social contexts that the poem arose from. They would also need to have an adequate understanding of themselves as readers of poetry, the contexts of reading, and understand that their studying of the poetry is not some “random” event, but a necessary event in their lives. Furthermore, to understand it they would need to have a go at creating some poetry so they understood the aesthetic, cognitive processes that are involved in its creation. They would also need to understand how it might be “transmitted” and performed.