Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

William E. Doll

Abstract

The text of this dissertation explores interconnections between cosmology and curriculum. I believe the demands of an Ecozoic Age will initiate a reconceptualizing of curriculum. Further, I believe the particular cosmological perspective I advance can help us with this reconceptualization. Chapter 1 utilizes the multi-faceted insights of scientific, historical, and speculative thought. The texts used in this chapter incorporate an engagement with past cultures (Ong, Eliade), with contemporary theoretical perspectives (Munitz, Haught, and Stafford), and with a scholarship that envisions alternative futures (Bohm). Chapter 2 uncovers how modernity's relationship to the earth is rooted in the scientific, political, and social philosophies of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The mechanistic and rationally controlling world views launched in these centuries still govern our destructive attitudes toward the earth. Contemporary societal and educational ecologies are scrutinized. Modernity's dualistic structures, its epistemologies of control, its analytico-referential discourse, and its liberal discursive practices are questioned. Bower's writings are added to those used in Chapter 1. Chapter 3 enunciates a particular vision of cosmology as story, change, and interpretation. Utilizing philosophical hermeneutics, the complex and interlocking dynamics of social and cultural phenomena are disclosed, and the effects these occurrences have on a society's cosmology are scrutinized. Cosmology as story is essential to this interpretive endeavor. Chapter 4 examines contemporary cosmological scholarship, utilizing the works of Berry, Oliver with Gersham, Sagan, Sahtouris, and Toulmin. The significant and divergent contributions of each thinker are explored, especially as these thinkers reenvision human-earth relations. Chapter 5 establishes the connections between cosmology and curriculum resulting in a new curricular paradigm for an Ecozoic Age. I suggest a cosmic vision that goes beyond survival and critique to creativity. The integrative movement of theory (insight) and praxis (creative action) is contextualized within a vision of human-earth relations. The Coda marks the finale of the dissertation. Its purpose is twofold: to contextualize the cosmological curricular theory presented in the preceding chapters and to suggest a hermeneutic methodology for earth-centered schools.

Pages

214

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