Beyond Discourse

Education, the Self, and Dialogue

By Alexander M. Sidorkin

Subjects: Philosophy Of Education
Paperback : 9780791442487, 164 pages, July 1999
Hardcover : 9780791442470, 164 pages, August 1999

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Table of contents




Framing the Problem


Chapter 1
Dialogue and Human Existence


Preliminary Remarks
Thou Art, Therefore, I Am: The Nature of Discovery
Laws of the Dialogical
Bakhtin and Gadamer
Language of Monologism
Multi-Monologues of the Postmodern


Chapter 2
Homo Dialogicus


The Polyphonic Self
Dialogical Morality
On Wholeness and Spontaneity
Integrity, Identity, Authenticity


Chapter 3
The Three Drinks Theory: Types of Discourse in Classroom Communication


Research, Results and Discussion
First Discourse
Second Discourse
Third Discourse
The Cycle of Three Discourses


Chapter 4
Dialogical Schools: Complexity, Civility, Carnival


The Good School
Original Relational Incident


An Inconclusive Conclusion





Drawing on the works of Martin Buber and Mikhail Bakhtin, the author explores the roles that dialogue, laughter, and spontaneity play in the education of the whole person.


Using Mikhail Bakhtin's concepts of dialogue and carnival, and in connection with the ideas of Martin Buber, Sidorkin explores the issues of difference and identity in a very postmodern view of the self. He addresses the questions of what it really means to be human, and, likewise, what truly makes a good school.

He takes dialogue beyond the framework of discourse, making it an end in itself rather than a means toward better education. His sojourn into a fifth-grade classroom shows that basic forms of classroom talk, which are normally thought to be distracting or educationally useless, are proved to be valuable dialogical moments of discovery in schooling.

Alexander M. Sidorkin is Research Associate at the Center for Educational Renewal in the College of Education at the University of Washington.