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ERIC Number: ED540798
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 224
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-2671-0471-7
Circular Poetics: Cybernetics, Zen Koans, and the Art of Creative Transformative Pedagogy
Stephenson Keeney, Hillary
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, California Institute of Integral Studies
There is an expressed desire across academic disciplines to move beyond the limitations of linear, reductionist epistemologies and infuse teaching and learning with a greater recognition of relational interdependence, circular causality, patterns of connection, and generally what Gregory Bateson (1972) called the "ecology of mind" (p. xxiii). This theoretical dissertation is an exploration into the ways sparking this shift in higher education pedagogy, especially across the liberal arts, humanities, and social sciences, requires going past mere descriptions of Western epistemological limitations or the alternatives held by cybernetic or ecosystemic epistemology. Instead it requires that our pedagogy itself recursively embody and bring forth the circular epistemology it describes. I call this second order leap into the embodied expression and performance of circularity, circular poetics. To further elaborate this pedagogical approach I look to the ways in which some of the voices of two wisdom traditions, Zen Buddhism and cybernetics, have experimented with the teaching and expression of recursivity. Specifically, the metalogues of Gregory Bateson (1972) and the koan records of The Gateless Gate (Yamada, 2004) are examined as lessons in the art of embodying the paradox, absurdity, and creative complexity that accompany the truest expressions of circular wisdom. After presenting a discussion of how the metalogues of Bateson (1972) and the koans of the Gateless Gate (Yamada, 2004) perform circular poetics, I will examine the implications of circular poetics for the field of transformative education. This will include the use of composite examples of pedagogical enactments of circular poetics from graduate and undergraduate higher education courses. The study concludes with three original "written performances" of circular poetics in metalogue and koan form. They are intended to generate further questions regarding the expression and implications of circular poetics to the art of transformative teaching. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A