Arab World English Journal (AWEJ) Volume.7 Number.4  December, 2016          Pp.175- 186

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Identifying the Uncanny Phenomena in Educational Practice

 Roberto Ollivier-Garza
Department of Language, Literacy, and Sociocultural Studies
College of Education the University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM, USA



One could argue that Jentsch’s (1906) essay, on “The Psychology of the Uncanny,” was a precursory step toward structuralism. His ideas on alienation, revolution, and repetition inspired and were incorporated into the respective works and disciplines pursued by Freud, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and Derrida. Despite the uncanny’s impact on and applicability to these respective areas, this theory has not yet been evaluated or vetted for its relevance to the modern conditions of globalization that impact student learning, in particular, those students whose immigrant, minority, or socioeconomic status posit them on the periphery of their respective dominant educational systems. Therefore, this paper’s purpose is to identify and examine the history and theory of the uncanny, to define the alienation experience of its patrons, to explore the impact and effect on their cognitive development, and to suggest the need to recognize the uncanny experience as a legitimate threat to multiculturally responsive teaching – an issue that requires addressment as well as educational and praxis reform.
Keywords: educational system, educational reform, multicultural responsive teaching, uncanny, uncanny valley theory

Cite as: Ollivier-Garza,   R. (2016). Identifying the Uncanny Phenomena in Educational Practice
Arab World English Journal, 7(4)


Roberto Tomás Ollivier-Garza, M.Ed., M.A., CAGS, M.L.A.,GCERT, ABD is currently as
third-year doctoral student at the University of New Mexico. Roberto was raised and educated
internationally as the dependent of a U.S. diplomat and it is his experiences in Mozambique,
Saudi Arabia, Zaire, Spain, Korea, Japan, Bolivia, India and China that motivate his work in
the fields of globalization, education, culture/ identity and pragmatics.