A Fundamental Theory of Curriculum/Education Grounded in Ontology NOT Epistemology: Recovering the Occluded Realm of Pre-Theoretical Living-and-Learning in Vandenberg, Dreyfus, and Kelly
This first chapter is driven by the following grounding/guiding question: Can there be a fundamental curriculum or educational theory grounded in ontology? My rejoinder emerges from a critical engagement with contemporary phenomenological studies in dialogue with the history of curriculum theorizing and the reading of curriculum as phenomenological text. Working to develop the notion of a fundamental educational theory inspired by a form of phenomenology emerging from a post-Husserlian perspective, this chapter unfolds in three sections: (1) I explicate for the reader the impoverished ontological state of contemporary standardized education (social efficiency), outlining the oblivion of ontology and the potential devastating effects of the learning sciences on both educators and students, resulting in the loss of phenomenological self-hood; (2) I look to Hubert Dreyfus (1981, 1993, 1999, 2001) and Sean Kelly (2005) to envision the reconceived notion of world and human being that their unique and complex phenomenology offers, which is radically opposed to the thematized and formalized world of contemporary “standardized” education, which is driven, for the most part, by the learning sciences.
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