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ERIC Number: EJ934675
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Sep
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 15
ISSN: ISSN-0013-1857
Initiation, Not Indoctrination: Confronting the Grotesque in Cultural Education
McDonough, Tim
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v43 n7 p706-723 Sep 2011
The goal of this article is to differentiate initiation from indoctrination, and to return a positive significance to the notion of initiation, as a pedagogy that contributes not only to the perpetuation of a particular form of life or community, but that provides the next generation with means to advance that knowledge beyond its existing boundaries. When we conflate the terms "initiation" and "indoctrination" or only mark a minor difference between the two, we lose meaning. The explanatory and predictive power of our statements is weakened by this failure to take seriously the difference between these two terms. By ignoring the progressive potential in initiation, and condemning that pedagogy as uncritical, educational theorists fail to recognize the intermediate steps that need to be taken in educating a student to be a creative and responsive thinker within a cultural, i.e. symbolic, context. Within the pedagogy of initiation crucial methods for teaching students to engage existing representations of truth, rules of practice, and principles of meaning-making are employed. This article draws upon case studies and theorists in anthropology to offer a description of initiation that holds progressive potential, and explains the possible relevance of initiatory pedagogy for multicultural education.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A