The Consequences of the Binary Opposition/Continuation Approaches to Modernism and Postmodernism : A Critical Educational Study

By Shekarey, Abas; Rahimi, Ali | Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry, January 1, 2006 | Go to article overview
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The Consequences of the Binary Opposition/Continuation Approaches to Modernism and Postmodernism : A Critical Educational Study


Shekarey, Abas, Rahimi, Ali, Tamara Journal of Critical Organisation Inquiry


Abstract

Understanding the parameters of modernism and the characteristics of postmodernism has been the goal of specialists and thinkers in the modern world. In recent years, the development of these epistemological modern and postmodern parameters and characteristics has attracted the attention of educational philosophers. In this article, an effort is made to analyze the educational ideas of some very influential thinkers such as Lyotard (1979), Frazer(1989) Penely (1989)), Hirsch (1987), Rortri(2002) and Curren (2003)as the foundations of modern and postmodern eras through a descriptive method. To this end, the relevant educational epistemological approach is scrutinized by dint of concepts such as definitions, principles, aims of education, parameters of critical and 'boundary' education, curriculum development and methodologies of modernism as well as postmodernism. The findings of this article elucidated the fact that paying attention to educational pluralism, multicultural conventions, creation of probable rather than absolute and certain knowledge are the outstanding features of postmodern educations. These features can illustrate the claim for fostering active and critical citizenship in the local, national and international arenas. Moreover, the findings of this study show that the rejection of all generalization and homogeneous perceptions and appreciations of social critical discourses are the essential building blocks and important aims of postmodern education. This leads to the practice of democracy based on interdisciplinary fields rather than on separate subjects(in the postmodern era). This aim is obtainable through the interrelated networks of group learning 'at school', and the 'university of life' as a 'small community' in critical education. Such a postmodern curriculum produces rather than consumes knowledge and it is iconoclastic not conformist and structuralism. The other result gained from postmodern education is the application of hermeneutic not dilectic modernist model. Based on the post modern criteria, the system of education must distance itself from the mere utilitarian, and instrumental criteria and embrace the postmodern touchstones of the citizen's critical and democratic attitudes, and mentalities

Key Words: Modernism, Postmodernism, Critical Education, Dialogue, Special and General Hermeneutics, Skeptical Knowledge

Modernism and Postmodernism

The term modernism is originated from the Latin word 'Modernus', it was made in the sixth century in the Roman era from the word "Modo" meaning "recent". The word 'modernity' was first used by Baudelaire (1964) in " The Painter of the modern life". In his opinion, modernity destroyed the clichéd forms which were obstacles to the modification and evolution of thoughts and customs. If we accept the idea that the expression of modernity is the same as innovative ideas and progress, it is, therefore, in sharp contrast with classicism and traditional ideas. The authors of this article believe that modernity is a new mental perception and understanding of the world and of the man. Also, in the era of modernism, elitism and materialism as well as secularism have been presented as mechanistic approaches to science. In this period, the criterion for analyzing human behavior has been 'formalist rationality'. The important point in this article is 'intellectualism' as the main parameter of modernity. With the advent of the enlightenment era, the evaluation of social problems and consequently the creation of cultural changes have been put forward as the most conspicuous manifestations of modernism.

Advent or Non-Advent of Postmodernism

There are two main perspectives in this regard:

A. The perspective of the opponents of the advent of postmodernism: Habbermas (1980) refers to postmodernism as a unfinished project. This indicates that modernism has not yet ended let alone the idea of the commencement of postmodernism.

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