Epistemological requirements to allow for change and development in educational subject-matter : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Education

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Massey University
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It is a generally accepted view that responsible educational practice depends on an understanding of the interrelationships between the child, the learning process, and tho subject-matter to be learned. It is not surprising, therefore, that throughout the nineteen-sixties western educational literature has directed considerable attention to changing views and practices in task analysis, learner characteristics in the light ol teaching procedures, the teaching process itself, and the evaluation of learning outcomes, what is surprising and, as I intend to show, disquieting, is that subject-matter which, in behavioural terms, is supposed to provide the stimuli for learning and become a major part of the complex of responses to be acquired, has been given abysmally low priority in terms of its epistemological status and reliability. This lack of epistemological concern is particularly noticeable in the attitudes of educationalists to change and development in educational subject-matter. There are, for example, two extreme reactions which the idea of change and development seems to elicit from practising educationalists: On the one hand there is an energetic if somethimes unthinking resistance to anything that challenges the established order; while on the other, there is on acceptence of the 'inevitability' of change within a framework of thought that presupposes change can only be for the better. Such reactions are, of course, not new to theoretical educationalists who, for the most part, regard them as further evidence of the continuing tension between 'progressive' and 'traditional' schools of thought.[FROM INTRODUCTION]
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Theory of knowledge, Education -- Philosophy