Postmodernism was an intellectual movement which first used in
the 1970s, it has impacted many aspects such as sociology, literature and
philosophy amongst others. The term ‘postmodernism’ was used to consider and
criticise the well-known systems within the Western society. Postmodernism was initially a response against
modernism. In terms of education, modernism saw the best way for teaching was
teacher-led learning and passive students, however postmodernism saw the child
as an active learner who learnt through experiential learning. It challenged
the notion that there are universal certainties or truths, therefore declining ‘metanarrative’
In the case of ‘knowledge’, postmodernists argue that there is no secure
rationale for knowledge as there is no ultimate objective in which we can use
to test whether a theory is true or false- this is known as
anti-foundationalism. A consequence of this matter is that Postmodernism
rejects the Enlightenment project’s scientific way of seeking knowledge. It is
argued that if we cannot confidently guarantee our knowledge is correct, we
cannot use it to improve society. Postmodernity has encountered information
becoming ample and easily accessible throughout the 21st Century; a democratised
society of digital interactivity.
Students of the postmodern era are expected to understand
the dynamics of information, knowledge and data. Through this students must
enhance their literacy skills and focus on their reflexivity of situations.
Teachers should guide their students through the key aspects and knowledge that
is associated with the subject of study and with the meanings which relates to
the life of each individual student.
Jean-Francis Lyotard (1992) argues that knowledge is simply a set of different
‘language games’, therefore we should celebrate the diversity of views rather
than seek to impose one version or theory upon everyone.