Humanistic Critique of Education: Teaching and Learning as Symbolic Action

SKU: 978-1-60235-157-8

Edited by Peter M. Smudde

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978-1-60235-157-8 (paperback; $30.00; £20; €23; $35 AUD; $33 CAD); 978-1-60235-158-5 (hardcover, $60.00; £40; €46; $70 AUD; $66 CAD); 978-1-60235-159-2 (Adobe eBook on CD, $20.00; £14; €16) © 2010 by Parlor Press. 268 pages with notes, bibliography, illustrations, and index.

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Humanistic Critique of Education’s ten essays by noted scholars address the subject of educational policy, methods, ideology and more, with stress upon the rhetoric of contemporary teaching and learning. Humanistic Critique of Education focuses on education as symbolic action, as the foundation of discovery and, thus, as “equipment for living” in Kenneth Burke’s terms. These essays will spark dialogue about improving education in democratic societies through the lens of humanism.

The authors take their lead from Burke’s famous essay, “Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education,” which is included in the volume, and thus address the design, practice, and outcomes of educational programs in the new millennium. Key subjects include cognitive motivational outcomes, student development, literacy, active learning, constructivism, problem-based learning, cooperative educational movements, learning communities, student retention, community responsibility and service learning, technology, curriculum development, and more. Humanistic Critique of Education is the first sustained attempt to apply Burke’s profound insights to the problems of educational reform and policy. Contributors include Peter Smudde, Bernard L. Brock, Kenneth Burke, Andrew King, Elvera Berry, Mark E. Huglen, Rachel McCoppin, Richard H. Thames, James F. Klumpp, Erica J. Lamm, Robert Wess, Bryan Crable, and David Cratis Williams.

Peter M. Smudde (PhD, Wayne State University) is assistant professor in the School of Communication at Illinois State University. He came to academe in 2002 after sixteen years in industry in the fields of public relations, marketing communications, and technical writing. His primary research and teaching interest is the application of Burke’s ideas and contemporary theories of rhetoric to pedagogy and industry.


Introduction: A Prelude to Critique
Peter M. Smudde and Bernard L. Brock

1 Linguistic Approach to Problems of Education
Kenneth Burke

2 Kenneth Burke as Teacher: Pedagogy, Materialism, and Power
Andrew King

3 The Both-And of Undergraduate Education: Burke’s “Linguistic” Approach
Elvera Berry

4 The Education of Citizen Critics: The Consubstantiality of Burke’s Philosophy and Constructivist Pedagogy
Peter M. Smudde

5 Extending Kenneth Burke and Multicultural Education: Being Actively Revised by the Other
Mark E. Huglen and Rachel McCoppin

6 Preaching What We Practice: Course Design Based on the Psychology of Form
Richard H. Thames

7 Motives and Metaphors of Education
James F. Klumpp and Erica J. Lamm

8 A Burkeian Approach to Education in a Time of Ecological Crisis
Robert Wess

8 “By and Through Language, Beyond Language”: Envisioning a Burkeian Curriculum
Bryan Crable

10 Educational Trajectories for Open and Democratic Societies: Kenneth Burke’s “Linguistic Approach”
David Cratis Williams


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