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ERIC Number: EJ812793
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Feb
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Educating Consciousness through Literary Experiences
Sumara, Dennis; Luce-Kapler, Rebecca; Iftody, Tammy
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v40 n1 p228-241 Feb 2008
In this essay, the authors describe human consciousness as an embodied experience that emerges from a complex relationship of the biological and the phenomenological. Following arguments made by Lodge (2002) and Donald (2001), they argue that one primary way that human beings develop self-awareness of their own minds is by becoming aware of other minds. These mind-reading abilities become fundamental to the continual adaptations that human beings must make in their daily lives. The authors offer descriptions of two literary texts (one print-based and one electronic) to illustrate how these texts participate with other forms of culture and with human biology to produce experiences of self-conscious awareness. They argue that if consciousness is understood as an emergent property of biology and culture, and if human beings develop self-awareness of their own minds by becoming cognisant of other minds, then it follows that literary experiences create productive mind-reading practices that contribute to the ongoing development and emergence of consciousness and, as such, are important for education. They conclude that extended opportunities to critically inquire into readers' imagined identifications with characters and their situations can support the development of empathic understanding of others.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A