Postmodernism was an
intellectual movement which first used in the 1970s, it has impacted many aspects
such as sociology, literature and philosophy amongst others. The term
‘postmodernism’ was used to consider and criticise the well-known systems within
the Western society. Postmodernism was initially
a response against modernism. In terms of education, modernism saw the best way
for teaching was teacher-led learning and passive students, however
postmodernism saw the child as an active learner who learnt through
experiential learning. It challenged the notion that there are universal certainties
or truths, therefore declining ‘metanarrative’ theories.
In the case of ‘knowledge’, postmodernists argue
that there is no secure rationale for knowledge as there is no ultimate objective
in which we can use to test whether a theory is true or false- this is known as
anti-foundationalism. A consequence of this matter is that Postmodernism
rejects the Enlightenment project’s scientific way of seeking knowledge. It is
argued that if we cannot confidently guarantee our knowledge is correct, we
cannot use it to improve society. Postmodernity has encountered information becoming
ample and easily accessible throughout the 21st Century; a democratised society
of digital interactivity.
Students of the postmodern era are expected to understand
the dynamics of information, knowledge and data. Through this students must
enhance their literacy skills and focus on their reflexivity of situations. Teachers
should guide their students through the key aspects and knowledge that is associated
with the subject of study and with the meanings which relates to the life of
each individual student.
Jean-Francis Lyotard (1992) argues that knowledge is simply a set of different
‘language games’, therefore we should celebrate the diversity of views rather
than seek to impose one version or theory upon everyone.