Legitimation of post-formalism with living theories

Whitehead, Jack (2017) Legitimation of post-formalism with living theories. In: Jansen, Hans and Letiche, Hugo, (eds.) Post-formalism, pedagogy lives: as inspired by Joe L. Kincheloe. Peter Lang, Bern, Switzerland, p. 120. Item availability may be restricted.

[thumbnail of Whitehead_LegitimationOfPostFormalism.pdf] PDF - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only
Available under License CC BY-NC

Download (398kB) | Contact the author
Official URL: https://www.peterlang.com/view/9781433144110/chapt...


This chapter considers the academic legitimation of post-formalism in Living-Theory doctoral research programmes. It highlights the coming together of the three concepts used by Kincheloe to define post-formalist thought; deconstruction, affectivity and non-linearity. As others in this book (for instance, Boje and Pieterse) have indicated, Kincheloe wrestled with the tension between his universal values of authenticity, relatedness, emancipation, respect for the other) and the translation of those values into specific, concrete actions. The values are just so many ‘grand narratives’ if they are not actualized in specific, lived actions and circumstances. Kinceheloe demands that we focus on transformations that can overcome the limitations of the formal logic in the theories that explain educational influences in learning. This transformation, as I have attempted it, has been in two phases. The first phase involves transcending the limitations of formal logic masking the dialectical (or dynamic, interactive and relational) nature of reality. The second phase involves transcending the limitations of dialectical logic via Living-Theory research programmes with a pedagogy in which individuals express their creativity in the construction of their own non-linear living-educational-theories, in enquiries of the kind, ‘How do I improve what I am doing?’ I have coined the phrase a living-educational theory (Whitehead, 1985a) to distinguish the explanations individuals create for the educational influences they distinguish in learning, from the explanations derived from the conceptual frameworks of the disciplines of education, pedagogy, and the social studies, to explain the educational influences in learning of individual educators. By a living-educational-theory, I mean a validated explanation, produced by an individual practitioner, of the educational influences in their own learning, in the learning of others, and in the learning of the social formations in which we live and work. Because many practitioner researchers are now using an approach to educational action research, related to the idea of a living-educational-theory, I use capitals in ‘Living-Theory’ to distinguish the approach, or the shared programme of research, from the unique living-educational-theories that are created by individuals to explain their specific educational influences in learning.

Item Type: Book Section
Publisher: Peter Lang
ISBN: 9781433144097
Related URL(s):
Departments: Academic Departments > Institute of Education (IOE) > Non-Initial Teacher Education (Non-ITE)
Additional Information: Chapter nine within book.
Depositing User: Anna Lupton
Date Deposited: 13 Feb 2018 12:26
Last Modified: 12 Jan 2024 19:00
URI: https://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/3601
Edit Item