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ERIC Number: ED356187
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Jun
Pages: 24
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
Postpositivist Teaching; Beyond the Myth of Prediction.
Stone, Lynda
This essay suggests that a profound philosophical misunderstanding exists concerning western science and its application to education and specifically to teaching. Based on the analysis of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki, the paper suggests that western identifying principles have taken on the role of "games" where deep introspection is denied and replaced with mere outward projections for others to see. One pervasive western game is scientism which, especially in education, has false aims that result in distortive forms--the myth of prediction and the myth of positivism. Though positivism is based on a myth, the game of positivism is played as if it were still a viable position in science. Two positions that oppose positivism are reviewed. The first is that espoused by D. C. Phillips and grounded in analytic philosophy and philosophy of science; the second is from Henry Giroux, Joe Kincheloe, and others who were trained in European social theory. Neither position values positivism's founding tenets nor its general project of reductionist prediction and absolutist certainty. Tenets of postpositivism are introduced, with emphasis on the concepts of theory, culture, context, history, and ideology. The paper concludes that the escape from certainty and prediction is at the heart of postpositivism with its dominant characteristics of multiplicity and pluralism, dispersion of meaning, tentativeness, and contingency. One of the practical results is to give up blaming both students and teachers for general educational failure, and to develop instead a cooperative commitment to make teaching count while recognizing the noncertainty of the present. (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A