Adult basic education as practical philosophy: an hermeneutic account

McCormack, Robin James (1999) Adult basic education as practical philosophy: an hermeneutic account. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Abstract

This thesis addresses itself to the task of (re)constituting Adult Basic Education (ABE) as a field of adult education. It argues that a fruitful way to (re)formulate the values, standards, commitments and 'internal goods' of ABE as a field is to construe it as inheriting the educational traditions and telos of practical philosophy. The thesis starts from the assumption that ABE has already been seriously deformed by being thrust into the forefront of governmental strategies for meeting the challenges of a globalizing economy. However, rather than respond directly to this immediate policy context, the thesis responds by working towards the formulation of a deeper understanding and articulation of ABE as a field of adult education in and for itself. To this purpose, the thesis reaches back behind modernist construals and practices of education to an older tradition of education oriented to governance of the polis—practical philosophy—a form of education designed to cultivate practical wisdom (phronesis), not knowledge (episterne) or vocational skill (techne). The thesis adduces Gadamer's philosophical hermeneutic as a contemporary (re)appropriation of this ancient tradition of practical philosophy which dialogically attunes it to the 'postmodern times' in which ABE now finds itself.

Item ID: 34181
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: ABE; adult basic education; adult language and literacy; adult learning; ALL; experience; hermeneutics; philosophers; philosophical texts; practical philosophy; practical wisdom; reflective practice; rhetoric;
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2014 05:34
FoR Codes: 22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2203 Philosophy > 220307 Hermeneutic and Critical Theory @ 34%
13 EDUCATION > 1301 Education Systems > 130101 Continuing and Community Education @ 33%
13 EDUCATION > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development @ 33%
SEO Codes: 93 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 9302 Teaching and Instruction > 930201 Pedagogy @ 100%
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