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ERIC Number: ED401422
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1996-May
Pages: 15
Abstractor: N/A
Post Modernity and Continuing Education: Becoming Critical Learners.
Down, Barry
The social condition known as postmodernity has an impact upon education in that it creates global marketplaces, increased marginalization of more workers, and privatization of institutions, including educational institutions. The postmodern culture revolves around the excesses of marketing and consumption and the social relations of postindustrial capitalism. In this world, "fast capitalism" requires workers to be adaptive and proactive to change and to become "partners" in a competitive business that regards knowledge as a product to be owned rather than power to be shared. The implication of this culture for education is that learners must learn how to learn and to solve problems. The postmodern culture, however, asks that learners not question this paradigm. In this scenario, education is regarded as a means of producing more productive workers, whereas questions of how education can improve the lives of the disadvantaged are ignored. Practical guidelines to a more socially critical approach to education should include the following: trying to change social relationships, asking questions about the socially just nature of educational experiences, looking at the familiar differently, and seeing teaching as a form of critical intellectual struggle. The development of educational guidelines and practices for the future should include the following: (1) develop a shared understanding of the "new culture" among all participants; (2) allow more time and more flexible work organizations to allow participants to discuss and negotiate the content, pedagogy and evaluation of their own learning; (3) build opportunities for critical reflection, analysis, and action into educational programs for all participants, including teachers; (4) understand the political configurations of education; and (5) include personal biographies of learners in the shared learning that students and teachers bring to school in order to promote a shared understanding of the social construction of reality. (Contains 19 references.) (KC)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A
Note: In: Constitutive Interplay midst Discourse of East and West: Modernity & Postmodernity Renderings in Adult & Continuing Education; see CE 072 896.