Dec 10

Two Ed Tech/Media Traditions: Rationalist vs Romantic

Spoken language is the first and most basic medium, and various forms of writing come next. If this is true, then media have a long history. This is certainly the case for education & for learning speech & writing.

I try to trace some of this history in this paper, which is a much developed and elaborated version of my presentation on media and educational neutrality, below.

The rationalist tradition includes Descartes, Comenius, and Chomsky, and  the versions of cognitivism and constructivism that follow him.

The first shot in oppositional, romantic theory is fired by Socrates (in his tirade against writing the Phaedrus). It is most powerfully articulated in Rousseau, and subsequently echoed by Humboldt (the linguist) and later by the likes of John Dewey, Seymour Papert and Roger Shank.

Each tradition seems to involve very interesting premises and to produce strikingly consistent results.

Download a draft of the paper (to appear in final form in a collection from Königshaus und Neumann).