27 SES 01 C, Values and Norms in School Subjects
Our paper builds upon earlier work on companion meanings to develop and empirical illustrate a theory of the creative use of companion values and meanings in education (see Östman, 1995, 1996, 2010 and Roberts & Östman 1998). Previously, we have used the concept of companion meanings to discuss and analyse value-related messages implicitly or explicitly expressed in text and other school related documents or classroom discourse (Lundqvist et al 2009, Östman 2010). By developing the idea of companion values we will be able to deepen and widen the possible range of analysis.
In the history of modernity the three value spheres – epistemology (e.g., reason, science, and technology), ethics (e.g., morality, justice, religion), and aesthetics (e.g., artistic creation, aesthetic criticism, beauty) – has been sharply separated:
By the end of the eighteenth century, science, morality, and art were even institutionally differentiated as realms of activity in which questions of truth, of justice, and of taste were autonomously elaborated, that is, each under its own specific aspect of validity. (Habermas 1987, 19)
Values and valuation are constitutive of the human condition as one of pragmatism’s most preeminent figures, William James (1902/1985, 150), has beautifully shown. We are passionately concerned participants not emotionless detached spectators of the drama of the universe, our planet, and our environment. Dewey add to this that it is not possible to universally establish a fixed hierarchy of values because value judgment varies with context:[i] “In the abstract or at large, apart from the needs of a particular situation in which choice has to be made,” Dewey insists, “there is no such thing as degrees or order of value” (Dewey MW 9:248). By taking what we will call an ‘other than modern’ stance on values we will show how the epistemological, moral, and even aesthetical values of science not only may mutually interrogate each other, but even interpenetrate and, thereby, requiring the student, teacher, curriculum designer, and other school personnel to rethink education and the division of learning from socialization. The recognition of companion values in educational practises highlight the mutual interrogation of these three spheres and by introducing the idea of educative moments we are able to identify those situations where the values spheres interpenetrate each other in the meaning making of students and teachers. Those situations, we argue, can be used to “promote exploration, evaluation, and critique of emerging ideas and the creative contribution to their development” (Wals and Jickling 2002:230) for and with our students. An educative moment is a moment where the need of reflection and deliberations occurs because values get in another´s way: “If values did not get in one another’s way, if, that is, the realization of one desire were not incompatible with that of another, there would be no need of reflection” ( Dewey LW 7: 210). Thus when students suddenly experience companion meanings and values a potential educative moment is at place and teacher and student may start to deliberate together rather than the teacher dictating some dominate epistemological, ethical, or aesthetic value that subordinates and suppresses all others. In such away it is possible to make room for reflection and creativity in education where new values can emerge or evolve.
Dewey, John (1916/1980), Democracy and Education, Jo Ann Boydston (ed.), John Dewey: The Middle Works, Volume 9. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Dewey, J. (1932/1985). Ethics. In Jo Ann Boydston (ed.), John Dewey: The Later Works, Volume 7. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press. Lotz-Sisitka, Heila (2010), 'Utopianism and Educational Processes in the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development', Canadian Journal of Environmental Education (CJEE), 13 (1), 134-52. Lotz‐Sisitka, Heila (2010), 'Changing social imaginaries, multiplicities and ‘one sole world’: reading Scandinavian environmental and sustainability education research papers with Badiou and Taylor at hand', Environmental Education Research, 16 (1), 133-42. Habermas, Jurgen (1987), The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press). James, William (1902/1985), The varieties of religious experience (New York: Penguin Books). Janik, A. & Toulmin, S. (1973). Wittgenstein’s Vienna. New York: Touchstone. Jickling, Bob and Wals, Arjen EJ (2012), 'Debating Education for Sustainable Development 20 Years after Rio A Conversation between Bob Jickling and Arjen Wals', Journal of Education for Sustainable Development, 6 (1), 49-57. Lundqvist, Eva, Almqvist, Jonas, and Östman, Leif (2009), 'Epistemological norms and companion meanings in science classroom communication', Science education, 93 (5), 859-74. Roberts, Douglas and Öhman, Leif (1998), ‘Problems of meaning in science curriculum’, New York: Teachers Collage Press. Stables, Andrew (2010), 'Making meaning and using natural resources: Education and sustainability', Journal of Philosophy of Education, 44 (1), 137-51. Öhman, Johan and Östman, Leif (2007), 'Continuity and change in moral meaning‐making—a transactional approach', Journal of moral education, 36 (2), 151-68. Östman, Leif (1995), 'Socialisation och mening: No-utbildning som politiskt och miljömoraliskt problem', (Uppsala University). --- (1996), 'Discourses, discursive meanings and socialization in chemistry education', Journal of Curriculum Studies, 28 (1), 37-55. --- (2010), 'Education for sustainable development and normativity: a transactional analysis of moral meaning‐making and companion meanings in classroom communication', Environmental Education Research, 16 (1), 75-93. Wittgenstein, L. (1993). A lecture on ethics. In J. C. Klagge & A. Nordmann (Eds.), Philosophical occasions 1912-1951 (pp. 37-44). Indianapolis and Cambridge: Hackett. Wittgenstein, L. (1997). Philosophical investigations. Oxford: Blackwell. (Original work published 1953) Wals, Arjen EJ and Jickling, Bob (2002), '“Sustainability” in higher education: From doublethink and newspeak to critical thinking and meaningful learning', International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 3 (3), 221-32.
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