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Title:The ends and means of empowerment and John Dewey: Examining the possibilities and consequences of a liberatory rhetoric
Author(s):Pilcher, Sally Hartzell
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Page, Ralph C.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:On the one hand, this paper is an exploration of the suitability of John Dewey's theories for critiquing educational reform, particularly the component of teacher empowerment. At another level, the paper tells the story of empowerment reform in the United States, primarily through Dewey's lens, to better understand the perspectives of national reformers, administrative theorists, and union leaders, individuals often thought to represent discursive poles.
Through an ends/means analysis, the paper identifies legitimating principles in the teacher empowerment discourse and focuses upon what counts and what should count as moral discourse, aims, and action. The paper argues that Dewey's epistemologies of moral democratic action and reasoned inquiry reveal major flaws and omissions in the diverse reform perspectives which have prevented reformers from realizing their legitimating aims with any kind of substantial progress or efficacy, not to mention aims which sincerely call for the equality and betterment of all citizens. In the end, the paper proposes a conceptual framework through Dewey's theoretical lens which not only expands empowerment rhetoric to include, along with teachers, community members, parents, administrators, and students, but which also argues the necessity of such an expanded discourse to discover tolerance for difference, universalizing ethics, and moral aims, capable of rationally problematizing and resolving the educational and social conflicts of its participants.
Issue Date:1994
Rights Information:Copyright 1994 Pilcher, Sally Hartzell
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI9503297
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI9503297

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