Pragmatism, Post-modernism, and Complexity Theory: The

Pragmatism, Post-modernism, and Complexity Theory

The "Fascinating Imaginative Realm" of William E. Doll, Jr., 1st Edition

Edited by Donna Treuit


268 pages

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The first collection of the key works of the major curriculum studies scholar William E. Doll, Jr., this volume provides an overview of his scholarship over his fifty-year career and documents the theoretical and practical contribution he has made to the field . The book is organized in five thematic sections: Personal Reflections; Dewey, Piaget, Bruner, Whitehead: Process And Transformation; Modern/Post-Modern: Structures, Forms and Organization; Complexity Thinking; and Reflections on Teaching .

The complicated intellectual trajectory through pragmatism, postmodernism and complexity theory not only testifies to Doll’s individual lifetime works but is also intimately related to the landscape of education to which he has made an important contribution. Of interest to curriculum scholars around the world, the book will hold special significance for graduate students and junior scholars who came of the age in the field Doll helped create: one crafted by postmodernism and, more recently, complexity theory.


"A landmark and visionary book…. Doll’s work, collected in this single volume for the first time, demonstrates both his scholarly brilliance and pedagogical wisdom."

Hongyu Wang, Oklahoma State University, USA

Table of Contents




1. Introduction: William F. Pinar

Part One: Personal Reflections

Introduction: Donna Trueit

2. A Path Stumbled Upon (2009)

3. Looking Back to the Future: A Recursive Retrospective (2008)

4. Struggles with Spirituality (2002)

5. Memory of a Mentor: John Steve Mann (2009)

Part Two: Dewey, Piaget, Bruner, Whitehead: Process and Transformation

Introduction: Donna Trueit

6. A Methodology of Experience, Part I (1972)

7. Developing Competence (1980)

8. Beyond Method (2002)

9. Crafting an Experience

10. Piagetian Thought (2010)

11. Modes of Thought (2003).

12. Keeping Knowledge Alive (2005)

13. Response to Proulx: Maturana Is Not A Constructivist – Nor is Piaget (2008)

Part Three: Modern/Post-Modern: Structures, Forms and Organization

Introduction: Donna Trueit

14. Modernism (2010)

15. Prigogine: A New Sense of Order (1986)

16. Post-Modernism’s Utopian Vision (1990)

17. Structures of the Post-Modern (2011)

Part Four: Complexity Thinking

Introduction: Donna Trueit

18. Recursions on Complexity (1998)

19. Complexity (2008)

20. Thinking Complexly (2010)

Part Five: Reflections on Teaching

Introduction: Donna Trueit

21. The Educational Need to Re-invent the Wheel (1981)

22. Complexity in the Classroom (1989)

23. Reflections on Teaching: Developing the Non-Linear (1999)

24. Classroom Management (2000)

25. "Looking Forward" (2006)

26. Da Xia Lecture (2011)

List of Contributors

About the Editor

William E. Doll, Jr. is Emeritus Professor – Louisiana State University, College of Education and Adjunct Professor at University of Victoria and the University of British Columbia, Canada.

About the Series

Studies in Curriculum Theory Series

In this age of multimedia information overload, scholars and students may not be able to keep up with the proliferation of different topical, trendy book series in the field of curriculum theory. It will be a relief to know that one publisher offers a balanced, solid, forward-looking series devoted to significant and enduring scholarship, as opposed to a narrow range of topics or a single approach or point of view. This series is conceived as the series busy scholars and students can trust and depend on to deliver important scholarship in the various "discourses" that comprise the increasingly complex field of curriculum theory.

The range of the series is both broad (all of curriculum theory) and limited (only important, lasting scholarship) – including but not confined to historical, philosophical, critical, multicultural, feminist, comparative, international, aesthetic, and spiritual topics and approaches. Books in this series are intended for scholars and for students at the doctoral and, in some cases, master's levels.

Persons interested in submitting book proposals or in serving as reviewers for this series are invited to contact

Professor William F. Pinar

Canada Research Chair
University of British Columbia

Faculty of Education

Department of Curriculum Studies

2125 Main Mall

Vancouver, British Columbia V6T 1Z4



Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
EDUCATION / Aims & Objectives
EDUCATION / Curricula
EDUCATION / Philosophy & Social Aspects