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ERIC Number: ED170207
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1979-Apr
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
A Deadpan Look at Humor in Curriculum Theory (Or, The Serious vs. the Solemn).
Vallance, Elizabeth
Educational researchers can provide unusual perspectives to their research if they include humor and irony. Looking at topics from the reverse (the critical attitude, the aesthetic perspective) allows researchers to see patterns, details, and meanings which are normally hidden from view. This aesthetic perspective enables artists, critics, and researchers to find something compelling in ordinary situations. It is essential that artists and researchers discern aesthetically interesting patterns before they transmit the patterns to readers or viewers. Because educators and educational researchers are more likely to judge research and teaching methods by scientific criteria (reliability, validity, replicability, etc.) than by aesthetic criteria, their research seldom encourages new and aesthetically pleasing perspectives. The columnist Russell Baker is one example of a writer who has made the distinction between the serious (traditional, influential, non-defensive), the solemn (pretentious, self-conscious), and the humorous. Baker characterizes Americans as possessing a solemn national attitude. Certainly, educational researchers exhibit this same shortcoming to a considerable degree. Educational researchers will improve their research if they consider distinctions between serious and solemn topics and if they apply these distinctions as criteria in judging research problems, research methodology, and teaching methods. (DB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at Annual Conference of the American Educational Research Association (San Francisco, California, April 1979)