ERIC Number: ED404549
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1997
Postmodernism and Adult Education. Trends and Issues Alerts.
Postmodernism, which has been characterized as an outgrowth of or reaction to modernism, is more a form of questioning and a perspective than a theory or set of ideas. Although postmodernism resists definition, the following appear to be among its generally agreed-upon characteristics: questioning of all claims to absolute, universal truth; rejection of attempts to provide encompassing explanations; identity that is fluid, changeable, and derived from multiple discourses; loss of confidence in progress, rationality, science, and "objective" reality; recognition that perception is interpretive and inseparable from individual frameworks; and a view of power as a process that enables/restricts or promotes/discourages forms of practice or thought. The issue of whether adult education is embedded in modernism or postmodernism has been widely debated. Adult educators have been urged to engage with the issues raised by postmodern accounts of culture in the following ways: question how social relations are organized and what social visions are desirable; recognize their own and others' contexts, beliefs, and frameworks; focus on understanding power structures and foster development of alternative forms of knowledge; and consider themselves cultural workers rather than technicians engaged in maximizing efficiency. (Contains a 22-item annotated bibliography.) (MN)
Publication Type: ERIC Publications; Reference Materials - Bibliographies
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult, Career, and Vocational Education, Columbus, OH.