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ERIC Number: ED409645
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Passivity and Powerlessness in Educational Thought.
Bredo, Eric
Educational thinking in America was once strongly activist. Schools had a part to play in social evolution and were an important factor in social progress. This paper shows how passivity and powerlessness is built into the deepest assumptions of current educational thinking. It provides an overview of modernist theory and postmodern accounts, and asserts that both share pre-Darwinian assumptions. The paper suggests that reform will require a different attitude and way of thinking, one that is more in tune with the post-Darwinian evolutionary assumptions of pragmatist philosophers such as William James. If one adopted a more Darwinian kind of view, as William James did, then one might see humans as busily engaged in trying to create better lives in an uncertain and changing world. Rather than taking things as given, as defined by a set of rules, or assuming that one must rebel against all such rules, people then can use different sets of rules to aid their own adaptation. In short, if theorizing is viewed as a tool for change, people may not be so prone to modern passivity or postmodern powerlessness. (Contains 15 references.) (LMI)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A