The Anatomy of a Pedagogy of Thoughtlessness

Mr. Fazal Ibrahim Ali
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The problem which this study investigated is the logocentrism of the epistemological foundations of the Descartes-Tyler nexus that gives pedagogic priority to a synthetic a priori by subordinating other "styles of reasoning". The study was designed around the following guiding inquiry question: What is the fundamental nature of a pedagogical frame that fosters a complementary, interactive and dialogic relationship between the heuristics of metaphor and the canons of logic? The Tyler model, which is an auxiliary to Descartes' methodological foci for directing reason in search of truth, appropriates the Cartesian binary opposition between the metaphoric imagination and rationality and in so doing gives precedence to the latter by negating the former as a valid source of knowledge. The consequence is a spectator epistemology whereby knowledge remains untouched by our thinking and imaginative projections. Pedagogically this leads to a zombiesqued curriculum that sets out the a priori in clear and concise terms and the role of the teacher is to transmit these inert ideas to inactive learners. The approach was to treat the methods and metaphors of Walcott's poetic craft as a text within the hermeneutic tradition in order to derive meaning from the contents of the case to the context of education. Re-currere, creare, dasein, pedagogical connexions, and the mental elaboration of an idea are the core concepts that emerged from this process. These concepts are presented as a curriculum construal. It is concluded that it is only through the interplay of imagination and rationality that meaning is created. Further, it is argued that curriculum does not exist; it is a search for meaning in which the logical not only comes after the metaphoric but is also ensconced within it. Knowledge therefore becomes designs of imaginative projections of possibilities that are axiomatic, tentative and hypothetical.

Keywords: creativity, imagination, curriculum, pedagogy
Stream: Curriculum and Pedagogy
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
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Mr. Fazal Ibrahim Ali

Head of the Evening University, The University of the West Indies. St. Augustine, Office of the Pro Vice Chancellor, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad
Trinidad and Tobago

Fazal Ibrahim Ali is an epistemologist. His major concern at present are forms of epistemic poverty. He is currently working on these ideas with Noble Laureate economist Amartya Sen. At the University of the West Indies he recently established The Institute of Critical Thinking. This Institute will be working with Robert Sternberg at Yale, Amartya Sen at Harvard and Madeline Arnot at the University of Cambridge. He is also Head of the Evening University at The University of the West Indies and acting Head of the Instructional Development Unit.

Ref: L05P0785