Pluralism Monism

scientificpluralismTzvetan Todorov  writes that the  most important democratic value is pluralism. Monistic societies and governments as are communism and national socialism are not democratic.  In education we should give pluralism an important place.

Maha Bali   begins her blogpost with the students need for different ways of teaching, for variety in structure of courses, and adapting to students preferences and needs.
But she the most valuable text of Maha is about cultural pluralism and respect. In Maha Bali’s blog about education she says:  But it’s in allowing the diverse voices within us to have a space (even if it’s an English-speaking space because it’s the only language we have in common) and voice, that alone helps to enrich the online space with the diversity that’s in it. Pluralism is a ways to foster learning and creativity and innovation.

Pluralism in education is a movement  that does not ask for teaching to the test and standard testing. It is about learning to live with differences in methods of teaching, about democracy and about pluralism as a key to research and learning.
Proposed Changes in Education (this is in a wiki about citizenship & diversity)

  • from formal to informal
  • from exclusive to inclusive
  • from restrictive to experiential
  • from instructionist to constructivist
  • promotion of knowledge building, lifelong learning
  • promotion of inter-generational knowledge exchange

I am not writing about religious pluralism. In the USA pluralism also is used to talk about racial matters. Both are important issues.


4 thoughts on “Pluralism Monism

  1. Jaap, I think we all need the ability to understand the world and it seems that this necessary ability to perceive is unique to each individual. Is there a reason why each should perceive in an identical way?

  2. Scott, my pluralism / scepticism is about knowledge. It is about the impossibility to defend the reliability and justification of a piece of knowledge.
    It seems some people do like agreement on facts and opinions because of some psychological (?) need for certainty. Some people do not like their Knowledge be questioned. In my view this questioning and the uncertainty with regard of the impossibility of justification of knowledge are in the heart of democracy.
    You are right, we all perceive in our different cultural, personal, way.

  3. Jaap, I agree that certainty is a problem and undemocratic too. My car mechanic never starts out with the need to prove to me that he can fix my car. He collects information first then diagnoses from the evidence held up against experience and advice from others. My last batch of doctors work by the theory that their job is to appear certain and in control right up to my being loaded on air ambulance where I died in transit and had to be resuscitated a number of times. Their certainty goes as far as their being willing to extend being right even if it killed me. I’ve changed doctors.
    Strangely, I was just reading Thomas S. Kuhn’s “The Structure of Scientific Revolutions” last night and he talks about knowing–I’ll put the quote in Diigo.

  4. Scott Your medical history is amazing. Wish medical doctors were as smart as car mechanics. Reminds me of Zen and the art of motor maintenance. The mechanic as an example to the scientist and the teacher.
    Thanks for the quote, will look into it.

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