1st Edition

Social Efficiency and Instrumentalism in Education Critical Essays in Ontology, Phenomenology, and Philosophical Hermeneutics

By James M. Magrini Copyright 2014
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    Distinct among contemporary philosophical studies focused on education, this book engages the history of phenomenological thought as it moves from philosophy proper (the European phenomenological-hermeneutic tradition) through curriculum studies. It thus presents the "best of both worlds" for the reader; there is a "play" or movement from philosophy proper to educational philosophy and then back again in order to locate and explicate what is intimated, suggested, and in some cases, left "unsaid" by educational philosophers. This amounts to a work on education-philosophy that elucidates, through various permutations within the unique foci of each essay, the general phenomenological theme of the fundamental ontology of the human being as primordial learner. Reflecting his experience as scholar, teacher, and perennial learner, the author suggests how research in phenomenology might prove beneficial to the enhancement of both the theoretical and practical aspects of education; readers are invited to envision education as far more than merely a means by which to organize an effective learning experience in which knowledge is assimilated and skill sets are efficiently imparted, but rather as a holistic and integrated process in which knowing, acting, and valuing are original ways of Being-in-the-world.



    Practicing Education-Philosophy Curriculum as Phenomenological Text and the European Tradition in Existential-Phenomenological Philosophy

    Chapter One:

    The Historical Milieu of Social Efficiency Locating the Problem of the Loss or Forgetting of Phenomenological Self-Hood

    A Philosophical Overview The Influence of Positivism on Education

    The Rise of Society in Education World-Alienation in Arendt’s Philosophy

    The Crisis of Alienation in Contemporary Education Philosophical Fall-Out in Practice

    Defining Phenomenological Self-Hood A Fundamental Ontological Vista into Human Dasein

    Chapter Two:

    The Destruktion of the Language of Learning in Social Efficiency Language and Conceptualization in Phenomenological Ontology and Original Learning

    Reconceptualizing the Language of Learning

    The Ontology of Original Learning as Being-Educated

    Ontological Learning and the Language of "Original" Questions

    Chapter Three:

    Phenomenology and Curriculum Inquiry Understanding the Methods of Willis, van Manen, and Heidegger

    Setting the Historical Scene

    The Phenomenology of George Willis

    The Phenomenological Ontology of van Manen and Heidegger

    Apologia: A Defense of Phenomenological Research

    Chapter Four:

    Philosophical Hermeneutics Socrates and the Ethos of Dwelling in a Philosophical Community of Original Learning as Bildung

    Human Transcendence as Hermeneutic Interpretation The Ethos of Becoming Other in the Face of Radical Alterity

    Transformation and Formation in Original Learning Bildung, Bildung Haben, and Außerschulische Bildung

    The Context of Human Dwelling as Hermeneutic Interpretation Socrates and the Philosophical Community of Original Learners

    Lingering Resonations

    Chapter Five:

    Huebner’s Reading of Heidegger’s Fundamental Ontology The Authentic Re-Conceptualization of Learning, Historicity, and Temporality for Contemporary Education

    Huebner’s Authentic View of Education Through Heidegger’s Conceptual Lens The Phenomenological Concern with Temporality and Historicity

    Huebner’s Heidegger Potential Implications for an Authentic Education

    Transcendence, Liberation, and Emancipation

    Chapter Six:

    Cosmopolitanism and Curriculum in a New Key The Complicated Philosophical Conversations of Pinar and Aoki

    Cosmopolitan Curriculum as Polyphonic Discourse Orality and the Potential for Authentic Conversation

    Curriculum in a New Key Listening for the Reticent Call of Authentic Curriculum

    The Theoria-Praxis Continuum and the Space of Curriculum Theorizing


    Releasing our Potential-for-Being into the Indeterminate Future of Education’s Past


    Dr. James M. Magrini teaches Western Philosophy and Ethics at College of Dupage, USA.

    "Social Efficiency and Instrumentalism in Education is a bold and engaging book, opening up much fertile ground for future work. I find it to be both insightful and admirable, and a masterly success."- George Lăzăroiu, PhD, Linguistic and Philosophical Investigations

    "This is an important book. In Social Efficiency and Instrumentalism in Education: Critical Essays in Ontology, Phenomenology, and Philosophical Hermeneutics, James Magrini maps out in great detail a long and complex history, the memory and origins of which have nearly faded from explicit view. We all still suffer it, often in bewildered ways, without quite knowing what has happened to us."- Christopher Gilham & David W. Jardine, Teachers College Record

    "What is education, and what is it for? What does learning authentically mean? How does hermeneutics teach us to read classrooms as living phenomenological texts? What do we learn there that can help us transcend the nihilistic enframing of education? Deeply researched and replete with insight, Magrini’s book fearlessly confronts our growing educational crisis by reopening such questions and refusing to foreclose them with premature answers or superficial solutions. In this way, Magrini shows us how ontological questioning allows us to rediscover the past, reinvigorate the present, and transform the future of education." —Professor Iain Thomson, University of New Mexico, USA

    "Magrini uniquely and convincingly weaves together the broad range of topics from ontology, phenomenology, and hermeneutics in educational studies with urgent problems in education policy worldwide, which is plagued with very few exceptions by standardization and accountability measures. This erudite volume with great intellectual power is both a theoretical articulation and a healing response to the present worldwide ill-being of education systems, institutions, and individuals." —Tero Autio, Tallinn University, Estonia

    "On the pages of Magrini’s book you will find a master teacher and learner who clearly lives philosophy and education. And that, I think, is chiefly the message that he imparts: that it is in the lived act of learning and questioning that another learner can be coaxed into engaging the authentic purpose of education: i.e., the hard work of building communal meaning structures for the world that presents itself to us. I wager that, like me, you will be delighted to join Magrini in that critical project and be the better for it." —Daniel T. Primozic, The Center for American and International Law, Institute for Law Enforcement Administration, USA

    "In this brilliant and inspirational book Magrini shows how our contemporary approach to education is dominated by technical, instrumental, and scientific approaches that aim at the production of knowledge with a view to social efficiency which forecloses the original dimension of an authentic educational experience. Magrini demonstrates how that original dimension can be accessed through an educational approach that animates the ontological, phenomenological, and hermeneutic aspects of human existence, awakening us to our potentialities for living otherwise. This book should be essential reading for anyone concerned with where education is headed, both today and tomorrow."William McNeill, DePaul University, USA

    "Magrini has succeeded in writing a book that is a veritable Bible of references and at the same time a feat of philosophy in its own right. His book is vital for anyone seeking to know the state of phenomenology in relation to education, and also for those who are looking for alternative ways to think about education beyond the social efficiency governing contemporary education. Reading Magrini’s book, and to echo what he writes in chapter six, 'we are reminded that if we have brought the current educational systems, institutions, and artifacts into existence, we hold the power to reconceptualize, reinterpret, and ultimately change them’." —Professor Elias Schwieler – Stockholm University