Paradigm Deconstruction Charts

The Fascinating Deconstruction of the History of the Paradigm Charts.      Paradigm Charts

Back in the olden times, during my doctoral training, I read many, many books on the history and philosophy of education (yes, back in the days when scholars did their research by reading ink on paper).  As I journeyed from book to book, from writer to writer, from scholar to scholar I kept reading what looked like the same teaching and learning models, strategies and techniques but identified by different names.

As I dug deeper and deeper I came to realize that the different terms DID describe the same teaching and learning models, strategies and techniques.  Why does the field of education keep creating new words to describe the same teaching and learning models, strategies and techniques?  Do you detect a repeating refrain?  I did ; /.

The answers are quite simple, really. Yes, there are TWO answers. 1.) Ph.D. candidates, in order to earn the degree, must discover new knowledge. As the old saying goes, “ There is nothing new under the sun”. So… how do you discover new knowledge which is not there? I know that you smartie students of mine have already guessed the answer. Yes!  You are correct!  That aspiring new scholar creates a new word to discover an old practice!  2.) Subsequently, when that new scholar joins the “academy” they are motivated to supplement their salary (yes, my dear reader, college professors make less money than a 2nd grade teacher who has been in the class room for the same length of time).Professors have only one thing to sell – knowledge. People are not inclined to pay for something they already have so…. you guessed it….. they create more new words to describe their newest magic bullet which will save our educational system!

Coming to the realization that many of these words were synonyms did not help me all that much as I struggled to organize the plethora of data focusing on how people have historically gone about teaching and learning.

Finally, I started to organize the theories, theorists,  research models, theoretical bases and the methods, procedures and techniques employed by these different paradigms/worldviews and the infamous Paradigm Deconstruction Charts were born. I did sell the use of these charts to Allyn and Bacon for $10,000.00 so I guess they thought them useful. I DO feel a little guilty about this development but I allow myself a little chuckle reflecting on the fact that my effort to organize the creation of all the self-serving linguistic excess allowed me to sell THAT knowledge ; ) Is this poetic justice? Let’s look that up. Whoops, I mean ask Dr. Google.

A particularly insightful deconstruction summary of the 3 P’s Mike Ofstedal:

Using definitions from the Paradigm Deconstruction Chart (Bridges, n.d.), empiricism would now not be directed toward objective truths, but instead directed toward truths that are evident to any particular culture and any time in history; and for all intents and purposes cease to exist in its current form.  The interpretive paradigm would now rule as the overriding ethos of thought, as integrating our culture and social interactions as the basis for knowledge would be so ingrained in our young people, it would become the unquestioned norm.  The critical paradigm would still be present, as it would serve to hold the interpretive paradigm in check, and always strive to see the underlying aspects of any cultural decision or thought.

He, he.  What he said.