Deweyan Reflections on Knowledge-Producing Schools

Oct. 20, 2008

Source: Teachers College Record, Volume 110 Number 10, 2008, p. 2204-2223


The article examines some of the philosophical underpinnings of knowledge-(KPS). KPS is an Australian initiative advanced by such researchers as Chris Bigum, Colin Lankshear, and Michael Knobel.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study

The authors examine the epistemology and the theory of new literacy that KPS scholars put forth, which they strongly endorse, and address a lack of attention to embodiment and the emotions that KPS epistemology would seem to require. This article is devoted to addressing this omission, which the authors frequently find in other approaches to literacy studies as well.

Research Design

The authors call on the philosophy of Deweyan pragmatism to provide a friendly critique and reconstruction of KPS epistemology. In doing so, they will rely on the perspective of Deweyan pragmatism supplemented by some of the insights of pragmatist feminism. 


In the reconstruction of KPS, the authors offer a Deweyan performance epistemology that resembles the epistemology championed by KPS in some important ways, but by emphasizing the role of embodiment and emotion (“bodying”) in making meaning and making knowing, it allows them to better comprehend what it entails to be a member of a community of practice.

Updated: Dec. 17, 2008