The Culture of Education / Edition 2by Jerome Bruner
Pub. Date: 04/28/1997
What we don't know about learning could fill a book--and it might be a schoolbook. In a masterly commentary on the possibilities of education, the eminent psychologist Jerome Bruner reveals how education can usher children into their culture, though it often fails to do so. Applying the newly emerging "cultural psychology" to education, Bruner proposes that the… See more details below
What we don't know about learning could fill a book--and it might be a schoolbook. In a masterly commentary on the possibilities of education, the eminent psychologist Jerome Bruner reveals how education can usher children into their culture, though it often fails to do so. Applying the newly emerging "cultural psychology" to education, Bruner proposes that the mind reaches its full potential only through participation in the culture--not just its more formal arts and sciences, but its ways of perceiving, thinking, feeling, and carrying out discourse. By examining both educational practice and educational theory, Bruner explores new and rich ways of approaching many of the classical problems that perplex educators.
Education, Bruner reminds us, cannot be reduced to mere information processing, sorting knowledge into categories. Its objective is to help learners construct meanings, not simply to manage information. Meaning making requires an understanding of the ways of one's culture--whether the subject in question is social studies, literature, or science. The Culture of Education makes a forceful case for the importance of narrative as an instrument of meaning making. An embodiment of culture, narrative permits us to understand the present, the past, and the humanly possible in a uniquely human way.
Going well beyond his earlier acclaimed books on education, Bruner looks past the issue of achieving individual competence to the question of how education equips individuals to participate in the culture on which life and livelihood depend. Educators, psychologists, and students of mind and culture will find in this volume an unsettling criticism that challenges our current conventional practices--as well as a wise vision that charts a direction for the future.
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- Edition description:
- Second Edition
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- 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Table of Contents
Culture, Mind, and Education
The Complexity of Educational Aims
Teaching the Present, Past, and Possible
Understanding and Explaining Other Minds
Narratives of Science
The Narrative Construal of Reality
Knowing as Doing
Psychology's Next Chapter
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In determining what we believe to be the most effective or quality musical and educational settings for children, researchers and educators may be too zealous. When Bruner (1996) stated that "you cannot teacher-proof a curriculum any more that you can parent-proof a family" (84), he was alluding to this obsession with having an expedient education. Especially in the case of the Head Start vignette, it is clear that music educators also address musical deprivation; our much more enticing labels include Early Childhood Music, Kindermusik, and Musikgarten. The explicit messages presented in these curricula are the instruction of the whole child for later transfer through music and the inclusiveness of parents and family in the music making process; if a teacher maintains these ideals, then the families that receive the instruction will flourish as a result. The implicit concerns, however, are that all families can afford this private education, the best possible instruction will emanate from the licensed teachers, and the cultural values of all families are the same, regardless of race, class, and socioeconomic status. The music education that the children are receiving comes with the "failure to equip minds with the skills for understanding and feeling and acting in the cultural world . . . risks creating alienation, de?ance, and practical incompetence. And all of these undermine the viability of a culture" (Bruner, 1996. 42-3). The result, then, is that no culture at all is being taught or preserved, and musical culture as an entity is not experiencing propagation of any kind. Close readings of this text are eye-opening and insightful about what is happening in the classroom as well as the cultures that surround it and permeate it. Regardless of what ages of students we teach, we need to continually educate ourselves to provide the least biased and most comprehensive music program possible; our consciousness has an obligatory equity to our musicianship and scholarship. Bruner is able to communicate these messages (as well as many others) well.