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Postmodernism and Critical Theory as Education Theory: Analytical Essay

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It is disappointing that it has become a norm for a lot of students to use other people’s work and, thereafter give recognition to the original author(reference). Students are not usually advised that they can actually bring their ideas to the public, they tend to believe everything that’s printed on paper is true. This essay will give definition of educational theories which are; “Postmodernism and Critical theory as Education theory”, examine the impact of educational philosophies towards students growing awareness to raise their own views and have ethically justifiable dialogic participation in authentic, honest public debates using creativity and cognitive thinking when is needed. It will also give explanations on how this education theory can assist in educating the future generation to be able publish their thinking.



“For one to comprehend postmodernism, he/she should understand modernism as it opposes most of the modernism main ideas. Modernism in short believes that some people don’t know how to think for themselves, they need to be exploited. Teachers educate students to be able to live in a rational society, they dominate and control students. However, “Postmodernism tells us that we must rethink our belief in science and go forward itself. Postmodernism says that there is something else besides science and technology that can fix things. It examines the failure of science to solve many problems. It encourages that we find our inner peace, and make us experience all our emotions, including anger and happiness” (Higgs & Smith, 2017). According to (Beheshti, 2005) “Postmodernism emphasise on subjectivity, local facts, interdisciplinary methods, creativity and individual and culture differences.” (ScienceDirect, 2011).

According to this definition of postmodernism, I can tell that it is a suitable solution to make students be aware that they can actually bring up their ideas to the public. This theory will lead students to be creative, not to rely on the information they find on paper. The following are the aims of postmodernism and its relationship with creativity by Science Direct.

  1. “Teaching critical thinking
  2. Teaching thinking has been one of the very important aims in education. In the past two decades there’s been a special consideration about critical thinking. Critical thinking is the process of questioning, analysing and justifying. In the past students were taught to be non-critical thinkers, schools-controlled students for reproduction of what was in the society. Giroux one of founding theorists of critical pedagogy in the United States, thinks that “it is necessary for students to critically think the way that knowledge is formed and appears. He doesn’t accept to be just a viewer, he questions. One can say his ideas are critical education and considers the action” (Hoppenfel, 2005). Critical thinking is a very important element of learning according to the definition. Students are sometimes scared to raise their views. This would help students to be able to compile their own work without fair of favour, as now they know how to be creative and question everything that they educate them.
  3. Production of knowledge French philosopher and leading figure in postmodernism Lyotard, criticise modern institutes and believes that for progress in science and knowledge we should have new discussions and formulate new rules and there will be creativity amongst students. He says that the nature of language games demands that students themselves should be in a habit to try produce knowledge and discover new things. Giroux also says that the role of education was only reproduction of knowledge and new ways of thinking and thoughts. Therefore, scientific methods and more research in this regard are the main part that will help with creation of knowledge. This gives students a platform to find out information for themselves. Students can read more to gain knowledge. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that they can believe what they are reading. They should be in a habit of researching on the knowledge that they have to produce more knowledge.
  4. Development of individual and social identity “Students should try to create their own history and stop limiting themselves in a special context. Students in this sense do not accept everything which was used by their ancestors and they also research about power relations. They criticise the relationship between knowledge and power, then try to remove all the borders in between.” (Giroux, 1991, pp. 118-132). According to (Hirsch, 1978) “Development of culture should be one of the main tasks of education as students don’t have a proper background of culture. He says that the system has high level of technology and various professions, however, we still don’t understand cultural issues of society.” (Rorty, 1989) contends that “Self-creation start to develop in higher level of education. He says the reason behind this is during this stage, students move from sociability to individuality. During this stage, individuals believe that everything that is a fact can be changed and formulated from the starting point. In this way, they say they are at a start-self-creation stage.

“There is Rhizome system, which doesn’t follow the “fix” rules. This system is an indicator of popularity and doesn’t accept stability. “Becoming” is a very important term relating to thinking. Thinking without “becoming” is impossible. When one thinks, it is the process of being different from others. So, you becoming new, and think like as individual. If then one doesn’t have the ability of becoming, then they are unable to think.” (Gilso, 2007).

Here students will have the opportunity to stand for themselves individually in a society. Students will be trained to create their own history. The culture of the society will help students to understand their society well and have a firm background when stating their facts without fair or favour.” (ScienceDirect, 2011).

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Postmodernism states out these roles for teachers to follow in order to lead students to be creative:

  • · Corporative learning method

This method helps students to work well in group works. They empower each other with the knowledge that they have acquired in previous lessons. It increases the power of listening to different or opposite opinions.

  • · Independent learning method

Students even though are encouraged to be able to work well in groups. This method helps them to be able to make decisions on their own and it also increase their level of thinking abilities.

  • · Dialectic method

This method encourages teachers and learners to always refer information sources and have enough information for closure. In this regard they can be able to evaluate themselves.

  • · Critical method.

This method encourages students to read and write. It motivates the students to always try to interpret and criticise after reading different topics. However, this method depends on individualism and justification on thinking and action.

  • · Verbal method

Postmodernism attention towards culture and disclosure shows an importance of language. Thinking is also considered as language. Best method of educating is through communicating. The teacher guides the students, and the students use language to interpret content.

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“Postmodernism and Critical Theory as Education Theory: Analytical Essay.” Edubirdie, 27 Dec. 2022,
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