ERIC Number: ED381411
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1994-Apr
"Like Life Itself": Narrative and the Revitalization of Educational Practice.
Hopkins, Richard L.
This paper describes the efforts to use contemporary ideas about narrative to rethink educational practice at the level of "root metaphor," (Stephen Pepper) and argue that "narrative schooling" might revitalize the actual processes of schooling. There is a concern that, especially at the secondary level, public schools are experience-averse in all essential qualities, in compulsory institutional status, in the way in which human and material resources are administered, in the manner in which classrooms are organized and managed and teaching is conducted, and in the entire elaborate system of student classification, assignment, and assessment. To correct these conditions, this paper proposes a theoretical formulation called reconstructive query, based on ideas drawn from John Dewey, the U.S. philosopher Justus Buchler, phenomenological thought, and the works of a number of other post-modernist thinkers. Reconstructive query is the theoretical latticework of an experiential alternative to mechanistic schooling. It sets forth the minimum conditions for a nonpsychologistic pedagogy whose purpose is to open up the world to the classroom and the classroom to the world. This process brings the learner's habits under stress, forcing adaptive revisions. The purpose of schooling in this conception is change and development, rather than the mastery of subjects as such. In such a system, the use of narrative connects theory and practice. The central organizing instrumentality for the program described is an emergent portfolio developed and maintained by the student in any available medium or media). Contains a 35-item bibliography. (DK)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Opinion Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the John Dewey Society (New Orleans, LA, April 1994).