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Title:Identity, Culture, and Conversation in Public Education: A New Focus on the Educational Foundation of a Public
Author(s):Lee, Gi-Beom
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Page, Ralph C.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Bilingual and Multicultural
Political Science, General
Education, Philosophy of
Abstract:This paper establishes that public education must contribute to creating a public and to renewing the way to achieve it in light of a wide-ranging pluralism. A radical pluralism underscores differences in culture and identity as the resources of moral perspectives indispensable to public deliberation, and forces the public to respect them in their own terms. But a public also needs some common ground for public deliberation. Otherwise, a public has little means to accommodate competing perspectives. Thus, public education is required to allow students to search for the common ground of public deliberation, where all individuals can participate as free and equal members, while allowing them to develop diverse cultures and identities, and their own perspectives. I examine three models of the public (the disengagement model of Foucault and Ellsworth, the articulation model of Hall, MacIntyre, Taylor, and Giroux, and the communication model of Habermas) and their educational recommendations to achieve a workable balance between these two goals for the creation of a public.
My analysis shows that Habermas's model of communication bound by the presupposition of consensus and exacting procedures is a well-defined model for constituting and regulating public discourse. But it also shows that its scope is too narrow and its procedure is too restrictive to serve as a model of educational conversation. Educational conversation needs to be designed to encourage students to consolidate their identities, to develop communicative competences, and to articulate moral perspectives in the context of actions and experiences forged by their everyday life. This model of conversation can be found in Habermas's earlier idea of conversation and in the articulation model's ideal of ongoing conversation, which are buttressed by mutual respect and diverse modes of reasoned agreement. In pursuing conversation, we must watch out for dangers the disengagement model highlights: it must not marginalize any student nor unjustifiably impinge on the basic rights and identity structures of students unless they violate the democratic structure of conversation. This mode of educational conversation will lay the ground for the creation of a public while achieving a balance between the two goals of public education.
Issue Date:1993
Description:333 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1993.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI9411683
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1993

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