Dissertation > Culture, science,education, sports > Education > Teaching theory > Teaching, research and reform

Approached the teaching of imagination

Author WuXiaoLing
Tutor YangQiLiang
School Nanjing Normal University
Course Curriculum and Pedagogy
Keywords instructional imagination consider nature as law instructional idea Culture conforming to naturalness natural law
CLC G420
Type PhD thesis
Year 2008
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The present basic educational reform in China attached great attention to the transformation of practitioners’ ideas in order to change the education thoroughly, however, it was two fairly different problems how the idea developed and what the idea was. The former concerned about "doing", and the latter cared about "knowing". It involved the problem of "faith" how to transform "knowing" to "doing". Nowadays many educational and instructional ideas, thoughts, and reform measures chose the naturalistic educational thinking which existed implicitly and explicitly, however, establishing the instructional faith which considered nature as the law would need a kind of profound but fresh instructional imagination. In this dissertation, the writer tried to understand the different cultural context on which the naturalistic instructional ideas relied in the West and China, and to find or generate the instructional imagination toward the faith which considered nature as law through a historical and cultural study on the ideas of nature which evolved historically and the naturalist educational thoughts which changed correspondingly with the idea of nature.In the first part of the dissertation which recalled and explored the cultural source of naturalistic instructional imagination, the writer indicated that "considering nature as the law of existence" was a most simple and plain living intention to understand the world, the human beings and oneself, and to settle down to get on one’s pursuit in the cradle of human civilization. As a result of the difference of civilization between the West and China, the plain living intention evolved into "conforming to naturalness", an implicit culture in ancient China, and into "natural law", a publicized tradition in western culture. After analyzing and comparing the thoughts of "conforming to naturalness", which originated in the continued civilization with the cultural base of temperament metaphysics, with the concept of "natural law", which originated from the discontinued civilization with the pursuit of knowledge metaphysics, the writer recognized the living desires and cultural state in China were different from that in the West, which therefore brought about that their naturalistic educational thoughts were different too. This viewpoint helped the writer clear up her cultural identity. Besides that, the awakening of ecological reason in the culture of contemporary western natural law marked a joint with the thoughts of conforming to nature in ancient China on the idea how to dwell in the nature.In the second part which was thinking about the tension of naturalistic instructional imagination, the writer indicated that it was wrong to hold the idea of having all or nothing to achieve the "nature" of instruction. "Inter-ideas-ness" and "complexity thinking" were the two key concepts to help the writer understand the complexity of human nature and the indeterminacy of instruction. The writer applied the two concepts functioned as methodology to understand fairly profoundly and freely the naturalistic instructional ideas continued and changed in the West after 18th century. No matter whether the naturalistic instructional ideas appeared in the name of "naturalist" or with the spirit of "naturalist", no matter whether the naturalistic instructional ideas were expounded in scientific or anti-scientific discourse, could we feel the western educational thinkers’ brilliant and fruitful efforts based on their cultural pre-understanding to pursue and to embody the instructional "naturalness". Their unremitting spirit to pursue the truth showed their loyalty to the laws of instructional naturalness. "Natural reason" and "natural virtue" are two precious cultural spirits and wisdom accumulated and condensed during the initiation of human civilization. They were the cultural imagination that the western and Chinese educational thinkers applied and publicized to create the naturalistic instructional thoughts and to initiate naturalistic instructional practice. To some degree, the two spirits could generalize the values’ tendency of today’s educational reform, and could help us understand the common spirits implied in many of new instructional ideas in an integrative perspective. In the third part which was thinking autonomously about the practical faculty of naturalistic instructional imagination, the writer applied the two cultural imagination to analyze and explain some text of western educational knowledge and some indigenous instructional phenomena, and tried to indicate that the spirits of "natural reason" and "natural virtue" existed and developed jointly with the construction of new instructional culture. The new instructional culture called and relied on the two spirits which were also a critical part of building up new instructional culture.

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