ERIC Number: ED235095
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983
Reference Count: 0
An Immodest Proposal: From Critical Theory to Critical Practice for School Renewal.
Oakes, Jeannie; Sirotnik, Kenneth A.
Dissatisfaction with schools results directly from the failure to explain, understand, and change educational practice within a critical theoretical perspective. School renewal and the potential for change must be based on critical inquiry--a technique which utilizes qualitative and quantitative empirical procedures as catalysts for formative, critical reflection. This methodological approach integrates three general orientations of systematic inquiry: the scientific method, naturalistic methodologies, and dialectical reason. "Doing" critical inquiry can be likened to wearing three hats at the same time: (1) a top hat representing critical inquiry, explaining and understanding only within a normative perspective that maintains a continued dialectic between schooling practices and human interests, (2) a middle hat representing hermeneutical/interpretive inquiry dedicated to understanding the conditions of schooling in the terms of historical and current school events and people's experiences of those events, and (3) a bottom hat representing empirical analytic inquiry and a dedication to the usefulness of descriptive (survey-type), experimental, and/or quasi-experimental methodologies to yield potentially valuable information. The content of critical inquiry cannot be determined by collaborators but must emerge from their interactions with those in the setting and consist of the reality of the setting itself. Two interconnected processes--exploration and action--constitute the activities of those involved in the change effort. (RM)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Mott (C.S.) Foundation, Flint, MI.; National Inst. of Education (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: California Univ., Los Angeles. Lab. in School and Community Education.; California Univ., Los Angeles. Center for the Study of Evaluation.
Identifiers: Critical Theory; Dialectical Reasoning; Hermeneutics; Naturalistic Evaluation; Normative Philosophy