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ERIC Number: ED308830
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Feb
Pages: 16
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Reconciling Educational Technology with the Lifeworld: A Study of Habermas' Theory of Communicative Action.
Nichols, Randall G.
This paper characterizes selected criticisms of educational technology that go beyond the technical issues, and offers Habermas' theory of communicative action as a way of addressing these criticisms. First, the principal strains of criticism that appear occasionally in the literature of educational technology are reviewed, e.g., conceptions of knowledge and its uses; post-positivist philosophy; consequences beyond instruction; and disregard for the metaphysical. Jurgen Habermas' critical theory is then described from the standpoint of its beliefs about positive science, and its ability to demonstrate how several kinds of knowledge exist. The major tenets of Habermas' theory of communicative action are subsequently examined. These include the concept of the lifeworld (i.e., implicit knowledge that remains "at the backs" of participants in communication); rationality, communication, and the lifeworld; the evolution of rationalization of the lifeworld; and media and the breakdown of lifeworld and consensus. The paper concludes with discussions of four implications of the Habermas theory: (1) educational technology is clearly a system of purposive-rational action; (2) the lifeworld and the rational world are not completely separate, although humans do not formally admit the existence of a lifeworld; (3) some educational technologists conceive of knowledge too narrowly; and (4) humans do not for the most part operate consensually. (16 references) (CGD)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A