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

Abas Shekarey


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. 

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