Date of Award

1996

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Education

First Advisor

William E. Doll, Jr

Abstract

Education in America today is dominated by the either/or thinking of modernism. This mode of thought is connected to both the concepts and methods of modern, mechanistic, Newtonian science. However, the attendant reductionistic methodology has been elevated beyond its realm of efficacy to the level of a world view, a metaphysical level. This is demonstrated by the omnipresence of the machine metaphor in all areas of human endeavor. The machine is the root metaphor of modernism. John Dewey speaks of a "new order of conceptions" necessary for significant change. These new order concepts are manifest in the new or postmodern sciences. Classical science focuses on cause/effect, linear relationships and determinate order; whereas, postmodern science includes the indeterminacy principle and non-linear relationships. Either/or thinking is a narrow conceptualization of modern science. What I refer to as both/and thinking incorporates concepts from both classical and quantum physics, modern and postmodern science and recognizes they cannot be reduced one to the other--both are essential. Both/and thinking is needed to understand Dewey's concepts for reconstructing education. Metaphor is considered both a figure of speech and a mode of thought. Metaphorical thought serves as a vehicle for moving from the unknown to the known. It is pivotal in both/and thinking; metaphors are themselves irreducible, yet can lead to areas of precise inquiry. A postmodern metaphor for a theory of education is offered in order to present concepts that go beyond those comparing humans with machines. The interrelatedness of metaphor to theory and theory to practice are discussed. Practical applications conclude the work.

Pages

160

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