EDUC 902: Egan's The Educated Mind

A reflection on Kieran Egan's "The Educated Mind" for EDUC 902. For more information, see this linked post.


Returning to The Educated Mind, I was unsure of what would strike me. I agree with the assumptions, I agree with the understandings and tools. I have even most recently attempted to use Kieran’s scheme as a ladder for an additional scheme to help me identify “history of education tools.” I spent most of my time in the chapter on Ironic and Somatic understanding. In a way I did not anticipate the ironic seemed to somatically resonate this time round. In particular, the threading of kinds of understanding that are woven together resulting in Ironic Understanding - and the balance that the Somatic offers the Ironic - gave me pause. It seems that the middle three, the Mythic, Romantic, and Philosophic get the most attention. Maybe because they are focused around the years we like to require kids to be in school? I have found a renewed interest in the Ironic, and have been pondering how technologies might support this kind of understanding with its radical epistemic doubt and ability to try on differing perspectives. Just for fun: Is there anything beyond an Ironic Understanding? Should we think of reaching Ironic Understanding as a goal or benchmark? I know that truly we should be aiming for flexibility between the understandings, but is there a sense that if one hasn’t accessed the Ironic they are missing something, their mental lives are incomplete?


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