Date of Award

8-2006

Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department

Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

G. Thomas Ray

Second Advisor

Paul Farber

Third Advisor

William W. Cobern

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The process of secularization has brought about a crisis of meaningfulness that is exacerbated through schooling today. Students are socialized to perceive the world as void of sacred significance by cultivating a dependency on modernistic modes of thinking that amplify rational, scientific and objective knowledge and undermine the likelihood of a holistic consciousness taking shape. Evidence for the modernistic tendencies in current frameworks of curriculum and instruction is found in Ralph Tyler's Rationale (1949).

While making necessary and important critiques of the effects of Ralph Tyler's ( 1949) modernistic curricular framework, William Doll's postmodern curriculum (1993, 2005) fails to accommodate an environmentally aware understanding of educational reform. Given this shortcoming, Doll's work benefits from attention to C.A. Bowers' (2001) eco-justice pedagogy - an effort that takes into account social-justice issues as well as concern for environmental disarray. By highlighting the strengths of Doll's and Bowers' work, a vision of educational reform balanced in its understanding of the environment, morality and the sacred emerges. This thesis offers three guiding principles that may help guide reform efforts in this century as they seek to revalue the sacred through schooling.

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