If we take a teacher to be an artist, perhaps it becomes a compulsive necessity to draw an equivalent between teachers and tragedies, following the maverick existential philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1956, p. 132). Just like an embodied experience of tragedy triggers immense existential–aesthetic energy in an artist, we could expect the teachers to let their practices be inspired, instigated and invigorated in the time of pandemic.
This is however not to ignore that higher education has insurmountable structural anomalies (Altbach, 1977; Beteille, 2010; Patel, 2004; Tilak 2020). Manifold apriori reflections on the structural anomalies aid in understanding the old normal that impeded pedagogy. The perpetuity of the old (normal), structural anomalies, continue to haunt the online education too. Just like it was deemed necessary before pandemic, it is duly observed that pandemic pedagogy needs ‘mavericks’, the dissenter intellectuals as teachers who break free from the disciplinary boundaries and propagate independent thinking among students.
Pedagogic practices, however, is not an idea of an unstinted romance in our times. We ought to be also accepting the existence of this pedagogic enterprise as an interstitial reality with uncertainty of consequences. In agreement with a notion of ‘pedagogy of hope’ (Freire, 1994), however, this essay shall seek to place it in the context of academic Brahmanism.
Pandemic pedagogy solicits an intellectually and emotionally exciting camaraderie of students and teachers in the wake of mixed liminality, that is, intellectual freedom amid the rigid structural logic. The basic import of this essay also enables to debate about a pedagogic predisposition, requisite in ‘old normal’ as well as in the so-called ‘new normal’. Rather than just a technological question, the online education is more of a pedagogic question, and more precisely, an opportunity. With its own ups and down, it entails a rare occasion for the mavericks, teachers and students, to try out the ways that were structurally not available.