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Title:Educational Implications of Gendlin's Philosophy of *Experiencing
Author(s):Frye, Charlotte Leona
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nicholas Burbules
Department / Program:Educational Policy Studies
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Teacher Training
Abstract:My dissertation revisits and revives the "experiential holism" of the Continental tradition in philosophy and demonstrates its relevance to holistic education. Specifically, it takes up the work of Chicago-school psychologist and philosopher Eugene Gendlin, who expands Merleau-Pontian insights for psychoanalytic purposes. Gendlin's process model of experience is timely and apropos to education, given its persistent allegiance to conceptual schemes that isolate and separate "aspects" of lived experience. I claim that prevailing pedagogical methods and instructional practices in education at all levels not only reinforce the philosophical dualism that privileges mind over body (and reason over passion, and instituted paradigms of thought over creative imagination), but also further truncate lived experience through splitting mind into various "functions" like perception, emotion, reason, volition and imagination. Holistically oriented educational theorists and practitioners must creatively challenge conceptions of subjectivity, mind and experience that abstract the subject from her milieu in lived experience. Secondly, Gendlin's theory of the pre-reflective dimension of consciousness supports my claim that all thinking has its basis in felt meaning. I argue that any and all instructional methods and practices affect the learner as a totality and are not limited to conditioning a narrowly construed "rationality" or "critical thinking." Lastly, I argue that some current models of pedagogy that conform to the reason/emotion dichotomy manifest negative consequences for prospective teachers. I make the case that a genuinely holistic education can be resuscitated only through a renewed commitment to holistic practices that do not subordinate "emotional" and "physical" aspects of personhood to "cognitive" ones, and that the "cognitive" can be strengthened by reconnecting it to the arts and humanities. Ethical considerations guide my argument that phenomenology and its humanistic emphases are essential to both liberal arts and teacher education. Following Merleau-Ponty, Gendlin, and other theorists of embodied meaning, I argue that scholars and educators need to consider experience as process, not "content," and that pedagogical methods must better take account of the interactive, developing unity of self and world.
Issue Date:2007
Description:194 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2007.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3301133
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2007

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