Pedagogical Praxis: The Professions as Models for Postindustrial Education
by David Williamson Shaffer — 2004
In this article, I propose a theory of pedagogical praxis. Pedagogical praxis begins with the premise that under the right conditions, computers and other information technologies can make it easier for students to become active participants in meaningful projects and practices in the life of their community and suggests that professional practices such as architecture, mediation, and journalism can provide constructive models for helping students learn from such experiences. In this vision, new technology reinvigorates Dewey's (1915) idea of linking school with society. Technology builds a bridge that allows young people to participate in the learning practices of professionals; in the process, they develop epistemological frameworks that organize the skills, habits, and understandings they need to thrive in a complex, postindustrial society. Although further work needs to be done to explore the processes through which such learning can take place, studies suggest that this perspective may be a productive avenue for continuing research. This article presents an overview of the theories and methods that inform such work.
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