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Postmodernism and Education

  • By: Eugenia L. Weiss & Gregory D. Gross
  • In: Sociology of Education: An A-to-Z Guide
  • Edited by: James Ainsworth
  • Subject:Sociology of Education (general), Sociology of Education, Education Policy

Postmodernism is a cultural and philosophical phenomenon that challenges convention, where the basis of reality is thought to come about through language and social construction. This stands in contrast with modernism, which draws claim to truths based on scientific empiricism. Postmodernism is not the sole domain of philosophical discourse, but has also been examined as a framework in educational theory and practice. Knowledge and its dissemination of it, according to a postmodernist, is the summative interaction between our notion of reality and our experience of it, where reality is rooted in history and in cultural traditions rather than solely in an empirical realm. Educational institutions, therefore, can be a vehicle for imposing certain modes of reason (i.e., Western thought) or they can serve as a ...

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