Similarly, history textbooks might tell stories from the perspective of white people, and non-white people might be subtly depicted in texts as inferior or might never be depicted as protagonists. They want to magnify the ‘truths’ of people from minority backgrounds. Too often, we take some things for granted as ‘true’ instead of being critical of them. (google books preview here). Structuralism as a school of thought hit its stride during the radical movements of the 1950s and 1960s, particularly in France, although it had its roots back at the beginning of the 20th century. To put poststructuralism into action, educators would need to teach about the mosaic of different perspectives out there in the world. London: Routledge. It has planted its flag in the fields of politics, philosophy, linguistics, literary criticism and the fine arts, and names like Derrida, Foucault and Baudrillard crowd out Marx and Engels in every fashionable bookshop. A quick primer on difference between structuralism and post-structuralism. For example, he argues that the entire class of homosexuality is in fact quite recent, built up by cultural norms and an interplay between different groups in society, but with no more essential a quality than, for example, the idea of beauty. Fundamentally they are very different. The poststructuralists told us this. (google books preview here), Foucault, M. (1990). It’s all in the ways we talk about students! Will your students be able to see diversity of representation in the books? It’s a good introduction to how to use poststructuralist thought in education and helps you go a few steps deeper than I’m going in this introduction. Butler believes we should stop forcing gender norms on children because, to Butler, gender is only constructed through discourse (the ways we speak about it). As poststructural theorist Michel Foucault says: “Truth” is linked in a circular relation with systems of power that produce and sustain it, and to effects of power which it induces and which extend it –a “regime” of truth” (Foucault, 2002, p. 132). Oxon: Routledge. The SAGE handbook of philosophy of education. As my regular readers would know, all essays should define their terms using scholarly sources. Derrida was respected as one of the great thinkers of structuralism, and so was invited to speak on the subject at length, as it was just beginning to receive a great deal of attention in the American intellectual community. Youdell looks at all sorts of students like: And she considers how schools sometimes use their language (discourse) to exclude these students from a class (‘you’re dumb’, ‘you should drop out’, ‘if you can’t act like a real lady, get out of the classroom’ and so on). Will you reinforce the power of conservative opinion on these issues? Which textbooks will you put in your classroom? Do you have a friend who sees children as little brats all the time? But different people can still take what they want from the meaning of the text. Here are 2 scholarly definitions you can use: These are, of course, very introductory definitions that don’t tell us everything about poststructuralist thought. Frequently Asked Question: Is it spelled ‘post-structuralism’ with a hyphen or ‘poststructuralism’ without a hyphen? New York: Oxford University Press. We seem incapable of changing our minds based on new facts. If we speak endlessly, over and over again, about children being innocent, our society might come to believe that it’s the truth that children are innocent. ), evolution, historical recounts of wars and the settlement (or colonization?) My top recommendations for what to read next to get more depth are the following two articles. (google books preview here), Tzuo, P., Yang, C., & Wright, S. (2011). Teacher activism: Got post-structuralism? Look at me as a person, not a mix of my race, sexuality, and gender.”. Amazon Doesn't Want You to Know About This Plugin. Explicit inclusion of historically underrepresented groups is important. (free access here). Structuralism posits the concept of binary opposition, in which frequently used pairs of opposite but related words (concepts) are often arranged in a hierarchy, for example: Enlightenment/Romantic, male/female, speech/writing, rational/emotional, signif… British Journal of Sociology of Education, 421-424. Include historically underrepresented parents in this discussion as well. Post-structuralism, on the other hand, can be seen as a more explicitly critical view, aiming to deconstruct ideas of essentialism in various disciplines to allow for a more accurate discourse. Discourse: Studies in the cultural politics of education, 27(1): 33–42. In other words, teachers need to be careful about avoiding exclusionary language. In J. Faubion (Ed. Different people have different ideas about what is true. You may notice I used that very poststructuralist term there: ‘discourse’. It also makes sure you’re always on your toes as a teacher trying to make sure you’re doing justice to your students. The last theorist discussed here, Youdell, writes about poststructuralism and education. In the 1940s Horkheimer & Adorno (1972) in Dialectic of Enlightenment trace Post-structuralism moved beyond this, questioning the very notions o… International Journal of Inclusive Education 8(4): 353–371. 35 – 45. Or, they could teach about Aboriginal perspectives and how their views might differ from what’s written in the textbooks about European colonization of the world. Journal for Activism in Science & Technology Education, 6(1), pp. So it’d be impossible to really find out the objective truth. In other words, ‘objective’, unchangeable, universal truth doesn’t seem to exist. ), Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings 1972-1977 (pp. tenets of structuralism—from whence it gets its name. Huyck, D., and Park Dahlen, S. (2019). Post-structuralism. Post-Structuralism is a late 20th Century movement in philosophy and literary criticism, which is difficult to summarize but which generally defines itself in its opposition to the popular Structuralism movement which preceded it in 1950s and 1960s France. They think truth is up for debate: your truth and my truth may be completely different. That’s because the dominant discourse wherever you are has a strong influence on what you come to believe to be true. By seeing things from various perspectives, our students will become better critical thinkers. So have a read of these three terms (and their definition), and if you don’t understand, have another read – it can take time to digest it all. While poststructuralists don’t think there’s a grand conspiracy to create false truths by anyone in particular, they do point the finger at mass media, classroom textbooks, teachers, politicians, etc. In middle ages Europe, it was seen as a self-evident truth that God was the Christian god. Studentsshould always cross-check any information on this site withtheir course teacher. It grew out of, and in response to, the philosophy of structuralism, which many of the pivotal thinkers of post-structuralism were extremely critical of. Instead, we should focus on creating positive inclusive discourses. Similarly to Marxist literary theory, the ideas of post structuralism argue against accepting boundaries of gender, age, class, race, and others when reading or writing literature. Interesting Fact: It was Foucault who popularized the poststructuralist term ‘discourse’. In the middle ages, the dominant discourse was that children were born evil and it was our job to civilize them. The scientific method has, since the Enlightenment, highlighted that we can improve our world by seeking truth through observation and measurement. Sit back and listen to others. For this reason, it is crucial, in order to understand poststructuralism, to start with Claude Levi-Strauss and the structuralist enterprise. How come power, wealth and privilege seem to be attached to people with certain identities (white, male, middle-class people)? (google books preview here), David, M., Coffey, A., Connolly, P., Nayak, A., & Reay, D. (2006). School Trouble: Identity, Power and Politics in Education. Here are a few ideas on how to use poststructuralist theory in the classroom. ), Michel Foucault: Aesthetics, essential works of Foucault 1954-1984 (2nd ed.). Going critical: The problem of problematizing knowledge in education studies. This school of thought is one of the major driving forces in philosophy today, and is intricately connected with postmodernist thought. 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