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Towards the Re-Enchantment of Cultural Education

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This article addresses critically three subjects central to traditional forms of education in Western society. Specifically, the article addresses educators’ i) conventional perception of their students’ self and identity; ii) traditional understanding of subject matter and content; iii) adoption of “literacy” or the “literate society” as the decisive objective of education. It is argued that all three of these traditional educational “takes” engender recourse to learning strategies that militate against cultural education, and that only a radical shift in our present conventions on the nature of students and subject matter, and on the objective of education will afford us the possibility of revitalizing such education. It is proposed that this revitalization—the re-enchantment of cultural education—is predicated upon reclaiming the oral-dialogical and creative art forms that are inherent in human life and emerge out of it. In their capacity to re-locate self and society in mythical space and time without denigrating rationality, the healing powers of these forms are disclosed and re-discovered.

Art is a quality of doing and of what is done. (Dewey, 1938)

Culture has little to do with the habits parents train their children to have; it has everything to do with the environments parents build for their children to inhabit. (Verenne & McDermott, 1998)
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Publication date: 2002-01-01

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