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ERIC Number: ED378181
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Nov-13
Pages: 25
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Pragmatism, Postmodernism and Education.
Hytten, Kathy
Four ideas characterize postmodernity: skepticism toward grand narratives, critique of the assumption of a unified human subject, problematization of the notion of representation, and a celebration of otherness and difference. Drawbacks to applying postmodern theories to education include: postmodernism is ill-equipped to deal with morally and politically charged, normative educational issues; its focus on the local and the particular is often too narrow; too strong an emphasis on antirepresentationalism results in the inability to make normative decisions; and exaltation of differences leaves little room for effective communal action and dialogue. In light of these weaknesses, philosophical pragmatism is useful and appealing. Like postmodernists, pragmatists are skeptical of grand theories and static knowledge claims, eschew quests for certainty, view all theories as partial and hypothetical, understand knowledge to be socially constructed, and downplay representationalism. Pragmatists, unlike postmodernists, retain a moral vision, a belief in the ethical significance of both the present and what is to come, and faith in humans' ability to bring about a more desirable future. What distinguishes postmodernism and pragmatism are notions of community, dialogue, and democracy which allow individuals to best live in a world characterized by uncertainty, change, and instability. (Contains 30 references.) (JDD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A