ERIC Number: ED342030
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Feb
Reference Count: N/A
Reason and Romance in Argument and Conversation. Occasional Paper 136.
The need to approach knowledge and action throught the structures of language requires consideration of the forms of communication. Talk can bring out the context-bound, partial, and tentative nature of educational knowledge (as well as practical, personal, and theoretical knowledge); it can make people aware of their various commitments and help them to see that educational research itself often aims to persuade. While dramatic, forceful, and historically dominant, the argumentative model is predicated upon a military analogy, with victory superseding goals of understanding, including sensitivity and openness to alternative views. Conversation, by contrast, encourages participation, and it accepts stories, feelings, and other contributions that do not conform to the demands of traditional logical rigor. Awareness of conversation's limitations is crucial, however, and helps ward off erratic and facile tendencies of conversation. Still, in being more flexible and more compatible with the conditions of effective persuasion, yet capable of incorporating stretches of argument in an encompassing "romance of reason," the conversational model offers a more inclusive approach to addressing questions of knowledge, understanding, and action. (Forty-three references are attached.) (Author/RS)
Institute for Research on Teaching, College of Education, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1034 ($3.00).
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.; Michigan State Univ., East Lansing.
Authoring Institution: Michigan State Univ., East Lansing. Inst. for Research on Teaching.