Reflective learning and reflexive modernity as theory practice and research in post-compulsory education
To what extent does reflective learning in education meet the needs of learners in a reflexive modern society? The thesis constructs a late-modern case for reflective learning in post-compulsory education. It is argued that reflective learning connects with a key concept in contemporary social theory - that of reflexivity. The arguments are developed through the following key questions. • To what extent does reflective learning in post compulsory education correspond with the needs of learners in late-modernity? • What are the key characteristics of late-modernity? • Can the application of reflective learning by practitioners improve student learning in post-compulsory education? • What are the conclusions for teaching and learning in post-compulsory education that flow from this analysis of social theory and educational practice? Enlightenment and contemporary modernity is explored through a review of literature on social theory and philosophy. The second part of the thesis is concerned with praxis the testing of theory in action. Case studies in action research are used to examine how teachers seek to promote reflective learning in their practice. This exploration of theory and practice is then used to present the overall conclusions and make recommendations for future action. In many ways this thesis revisits the territory and thinking of John Dewey, It seeks to connect educational praxis to the wider social context, but from a late-modern perspective.