Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 3

Heidegger Revisited Chris Khonngam EDUC 6171 Heidegger Revisited Ya-hui Su, educator at the National Kaohsiung University

of Hospitality and Tourism in

Taiwan, presents a detailed yet aimless theoretical application of Heideggers theory of Dasein to adult education (Su, 2011). If traditional articles in education can be categorized as utilitarian in that they present explicit case studies to back up their ideas or in the very least conclude with practical questions for further research; Sus work appropriately reflects Heideggers naturalistic abstractness by having no applicable outcomes and may be best described as authorship as being, not doing. Taoist concepts of oneness applicable to Daisein may be familiar to educators in the Far East, however, Western interpretations, such as humanist notions of self-actualization in Maslows Hierarchy of Needs (Merriam, Caffarella, & Baumgartner, 2007, p. 281) and experiential/holistic learning concepts such as those espoused by Dewey (Ibid, p. 161) and Jarvis (Ibid, p. 100), are largely rejected by Su as being too preconceived and reflective (Su, 2011, p. 61-62). While Su appears to agree with Knowles theory of Andragogy (1980; cited in Merriam et al, 2007, p. 84) when he describes adults drawing upon life experiences, Su departs where he values experience over knowledge, stating that prior knowledge is inapplicable to changing life situations (Su, 2011, p. 58). Sus description of stored knowledge as static (Ibid) appears to contradict evidence of brain neuroplasticity (Merriam et al, 2007, p. 304). Su describes conventional learning as focused on storing, abstracting, and deferring as compared to learning as being which focuses on constructing, substantiating, and responding (2011, p. 59). What he fails to answer is whether the higher-order intellectual skills he praises are achievable without the underlying information-processing skills he maligns? Su advocates his theory of lifelong learning as being as a means to dynamically apply knowledge in an era of uncertainty and change (Su, 2011, p. 58). Why does every author

Heidegger Revisited Chris Khonngam EDUC 6171 pushing a novel theory insist that we are victims of uncontrollable change? Decades ago, I was fortunate to attend a lecture on the future of education by Future Shock author Alvin Toffler (1984) who famously claimed that the pace of world change was faster than people could cope with; and yet, thirty years later, has the course of education changed that significantly? The influx of information technology has certainly impacted self-directed learning by placing more information in reach of the learner, but Sus theory, which values experience over knowledge, is negatively impacted by the trend of online learning which lacks the interactivity he advocates (Su, 2011, p. 68). Finally, Su calls for a redesign of curriculum that departs from competencebased knowledge and skills in favor of a Montessori-esqe utopian paradigm he asserts is more authentic and flexible at a time when decision-makers are rejecting Seventies-era progressive education in favor of criteria-based policies such as the No Child Left Behind Act. Economic uncertainty and an evolving marketplace have driven the need for adults to quickly reacquire vocational skills for which the primary objective is practical, not existential.

Heidegger Revisited Chris Khonngam EDUC 6171 References Merriam, S. B., Caffarella, R. S., & Baumgartner, L. M. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A Comprehensive Guide. John Wiley & Sons. Su, Y. H. (2011). Lifelong learning as being: The Heideggerian perspective. Adult Education Quarterly, 61(1), 57-72. Toffler, A. (1984). Future shock. Random House Digital, Inc..