Thanks for your response to my request for a critique of my approach to
the study of reality.
>your 5-piece framework. If you are not familiar with Checkland's soft
>systems work, you might look that up - he has a similar 6-part system.
I'm not familiar with Checkland, but his descriptive/analytical categories
are reassuringly close to mine, particularly since they come from a
different institutional source. Thanks.
>I liked your pragmatic notion of tacking on, not reinventing. It would be
>helpful for me to participate if you could suggest some more detail.
I'd hardly know where to start. I've laid the theory out in the first 80
pages of a little book published by the State University of New York Press
(1989). There have been foreign sales, but it seems unlikely to me that
you'd find it in your local library. I don't know where you live, but
I've friends just outside of Warrick that I'm pretty sure have a copy. If
you'd like, I'll ask them to loan it to you.
>You've obviously thought quite carefully about this. How might history
>class, or maths, or French, look with a more holistic perspective,
>accepting your idea of "add-ons"? Are you thinking, short-term at least,
>of exploring a current curriculum through more use of the five framework
>questions, to engender more familiarity with whole system thinking?
The same book discusses the application of the model to history, the
social sciences, the humanities, language, the natural sciences,
mathematics, social problems, futures, area studies, global education, and
special classes such the brief orientation classes that many institutions
require upon admission.
>I certainly believe the cognitive state/worldview element is really
>important in education. Our crumbling educational edifice in the UK was
>reinforced a little by introduction of this kind of discipline into the
>National Curriculum, in asking for, say, historical descriptions from the
>point of view of various players (Agincourt as presented by the French
>King's PRO, that kind of thing). It sounds a little too pc for many
It IS pc when authority says "Look at this particular issue from this or
that particular perspective." But it isn't pc when the primary objective
is to create and refine an analytical conceptual model of reality. When
that's the case, particular content isn't to be learned as an end in
itself, but is merely a temporary vehicle for pursuing an ever- greater
elaboration of the model. Incidentally, if academics could get that idea
through their heads, there could be far less conflict and far more
learning on campus.
Checkland's Concorde illustration is really funny.
I'll be most happy to pursue any aspect of this, and will help in any way
I can. Apparently, none of this is as simple and straightforward (at
least for academics steeped in a particular discipline. Several years ago
I visited a really first-rate school in Swindon in the hope of interesting
them in setting up a pilot project using some instructional materials I'd
developed. The faculty was cutting edge, but they just couldn't seem to
make the jump from focusing on a discipline about reality to focusing on
-- Marion Brady GMBrady@aol.com