Term of Award

Summer 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Curriculum Studies (Ed.D.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Department

Department of Curriculum, Foundations, and Reading

Committee Chair

John Weaver

Committee Member 1

Sabrina Ross

Committee Member 2

Julie Garlen

Committee Member 3

James Gee

Abstract

The intent of this document is to explore education through a posthumanist lens. More specifically, elements of posthumanism will be used to better understand today’s teachers, to provide several overarching educational goals and curricular imperatives, and to inform pedagogical practice. Several posthumanist themes in particular will serve to unify this rather broad consideration of education at varying levels. One such theme is that of blurring boundaries, calling into question distinctions that have been the source of declines in the health of our bodies, our species, and the life systems of which we are constitutive parts. Distinctions too often lead to hierarchies, and hence to exploitation. The humanist distinction between man and nature has for example bolstered the idea that man should rightfully rule nature, as well as justified oppression and enslavement of the “less human” or “savage”. Another unifying posthumanist theme is that of impermanence or flux. What it means to be human changes as our environment and our technologies change. The roles of teacher and learner are frequently changing and we are always some measure of each, more of one and less of the other depending on the environment and circumstance. A final posthumanist theme that permeates this text is that of decentering the human. Posthumanism is in part a rejection of anthropocentrism, and this rejection informs much of the following considerations of teachers, curricula, pedagogy, and education.

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