ERIC Number: EJ1117531
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Abstractor: As Provided
The Question of the Objective Basis of Whitehead's Theory of the Rhythm of Education: Homeostasis Research and Chronobiology
Scarfe, Adam C.
Interchange: A Quarterly Review of Education, v47 n4 p329-356 Nov 2016
Alfred North Whitehead's (1861-1947) theory of the rhythm of education has enjoyed much popularity and success in terms of providing a general model for conceptualizing learning, teaching, and research processes. However, in respect to the Whiteheadian notion that there is a rhythm belonging to such processes, of which educators ought to be aware, this paper asks the question of what the scientific, factual, and/or objective basis is for this claim. While I do not provide a fully worked out response to this question, in this paper, I do provide some insight as to the general direction in which it may be answered. Specifically, I point to the New Frontiers of biology, namely, areas of biological research that, to some extent, depart from its neo-Darwinian mainstream which embraces a mechanistic metaphysic. Homeostasis research and chronobiology are emerging scientific domains that can assist educational theorists in providing the necessary context within which to answer this question. Such domains of inquiry, construed holistically rather than only mechanistically, render Whitehead's theorizing concerning the rhythm of education plausible rather than unfalsifiable.
Descriptors: Educational Theories, Evidence, Scientific Research, Biology, Scientific Concepts, Educational Philosophy, Holistic Approach, Validity
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
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