Postmodernism Click here…for more… A quote from NZCR…21st Century Learning
Post-modern just means ‘coming after’ modernism. The term is used to refer to a period in history (the one we’re in now), but it is also used to refer to a set of ideas that ‘go with’ this period in history. This set of ideas is a reaction to—and, to some extent, a rejection of—the ideas of modernism.
According to one theorist, post modernism is the passage from ‘solid’ (stable) times to ‘liquid’ times (Bauman 2007). It is the end of traditional structures and institutions, and the end of what another theorist calls ‘grand narratives’–the big, one-size-fits-all stories of modern thought (Lyotard 1984). There is a loss of faith in the idea of ‘progress’, the idea that we are gradually heading along the one true pathway towards certain universal goals – such as the full picture of knowledge, or equality and justice. Instead, there is an emphasis on multiple pathways and plurality; on diversity and difference; and on the partiality of all knowledge (that is, the idea that we can only have an incomplete picture, and the idea that all knowledge is biased). Change is seen, not as a linear progression, but as a series of networks and flows, connections and reconnections that, because they are always forming and reforming, never have time to solidify.
Thus, where modern thought emphasises direction, order, coherence, stability, simplicity, control, autonomy, and universality, post modern thought emphasises fragmentation, diversity, discontinuity, contingency, pragmatism, multiplicity, and connections.
Read more about some of the theories behind the shift to 21st century learning, or click on one of the specific theories below.
- The Knowledge Age – what is it?
- Identity and the self in postmodernism
- Equality, justice, diversity, and politics in postmodernism
Bauman, Z. (2007). Liquid times: Living in an age of uncertainty. Cambridge UK: Polity Press.
Lyotard, J-F. (1984). The postmodern condition: A report on knowledge. Manchester: Manchester University Press.