Postmodern epistemology and schooling / Hyun-Min Lee
One of the core and primary functions of the school is to transmit knowledge from one generation to the next. The theory and practice of schooling (teaching and learning) should be founded on a sound concept of knowledge. A change in epistemology entails a change in approach to schooling. This study investigates how the postmodern idea of knowledge may affect schooling both in theory and practice. The author traces how the concept of knowledge has changed from modern to the postmodern era, in order to find the general features of the recent view of knowledge. The postmodern idea of knowledge is characterised by doubt about objective knowledge, the shift from universal reason to plural reason, criticism of foundationalism and awareness of the peculiar role of language. This study focuses on Richard Rorty's theory to analyse the postmodern idea of knowledge and its educational implication. In order to figure out the problems of postmodern epistemology, the author criticises Rorty's idea of knowledge immanently and transcendentally. Not only self-contradictions but also hidden foundations (or beliefs) in Rorty's idea of knowledge are revealed. This study comes to conclude that although the postmodern idea of knowledge reveals the shortcomings of the modern idea of knowledge, it also has many flaws in achieving a sound concept of knowledge. This study indicates an alternative view of knowledge from a Reformational perspective in order to overcome the shortcomings of postmodern epistemology. The author suggests a new possibility of objective knowledge based on the notion of creational law, and also various kinds of legitimate knowledge based on the multi-dimensional modality of reality. As a final point, this study suggests the notion of stewardship in education. Schooling should open up the multidimensional reality for students to become responsible stewards who care for the world and their fellow human beings.
- ETD@PUK 
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