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Каталог статей из сборников научных конференций и научных журналов- Present education. Traditional strategy vs. postmodern strategy: collision overview


Present education. Traditional strategy vs. postmodern strategy: collision overview

K. V. Sevastov   Postgraduate, Master of Art criticism

National Institute for Higher Education,

Minsk, Belarus


Since the times of the Enlightenment, education has been viewed from the point of view of pedantically structured system with coordinated hierarchical management and unlimited initiative, which in the postmodern era, with its reassessment and revision of existing concepts and theories, led to a crisis in education.

The crisis in education is primarily due to the crisis of comprehensive institutionalization, which is rooted in its purpose for “a different kind of reality”; over time, the assimilation of the ongoing changes becomes more and more difficult [1].

To date, the ideology of postmodernism has thoroughly penetrated all organized structures of social reality, including such a cultural phenomenon as education, disorganizing the vector of development of pedagogical thought, which progressively developed on such grounds as credibility, tradition, and continuity. Namely:

– credibility:

The presence of credibility in the traditional education strategy determines the lack of choice in the form of following a predetermined pattern, which in turn specifies the educational process as strictly prescriptive. Postmodern education strategy, like postmodernism in general, rejects any manifestations of patterning, insisting on the need of constant interpretations;

– tradition:

The main essence of tradition in educational strategy is determined by the presence of polarization (good and bad, good and evil, right and wrong, etc.); in the educational component – the need to adhere to strict norms and rules based on the classical concept of gender as a defining part of intrasocial interaction and classification. Postmodern education strategy, like postmodernism in general, rejects concepts such as polarity and classification, insisting exclusively on non-polarity and multi-vector.

– continuity:

The process of continuity in the traditional education strategy is determined by strict structuring and establishes versatile connections, reproducing the educational strategy itself into an integral step-by-step system. Postmodern education strategy, like postmodernism in general, does not accept this progressive and segmented direction, insisting on a constant revision of existing concepts, subjecting them to associativity and interpretation.

The basic conflict of the modern philosophy of education is formed in the following contradiction: postmodernists affirm the principle of ontological pluralism, while traditional education is rather monotonous.

Education in the traditional paradigm is viewed in an unambiguous reflection of the world in rational schemes, systems and interconnections.

In turn, education in the postmodern paradigm rejects not only the scientist orientation of traditional education, but also any rationality in general, without offering an alternative structure – postmodernism sees it as impossible to fully understand and explain life, the connection between man and the world, defending the conviction of the need for infinity of interpretations.

In view of a certain stasis of the educational system as a whole, as well as the constantly accelerating development of science and the progressively increasing gap between these two types of activity, modern pedagogy, in order to fill the gap that has formed, is forced to resort into such a form of individual cognitive activity as self-education.

The aspirations of postmodernism are reflected in modern pedagogy as the form of actualization as an absolutely necessary condition for any cognition, which predetermines not the subjectivity of upbringing and education, not the authority of reason, science, the generally accepted picture of the world, but the aesthetic construction of the surrounding reality.

The postmodern model of pedagogy appears as an integral part of the world outlook from the point of view of aesthetics, thereby aestheticizing the ethical component and leading to total subjectivity, negation of generally accepted values, as well as a certain relativism that does not concentrate in itself the definition of any generally recognized values of education and upbringing [3; 4].

In the traditional educational strategy, the upbringing of the subject is achieved mainly by means of the word: the mentor plays the role of a guide through a stepped system, in which his task is not only to transfer personal life experience, but also to improve the moral personality [5].

So, the main task of postmodern pedagogy is to predetermine the life orientation along which the student must move, in the absence of the Absolute (as the fundamental principle of the world), authorities (teacher – not authority, teacher – consultant), hierarchical grading (paradigm of non-polarity, paradigm of different vectors).

In the context of the traditional educational strategy, mental integrity, the processes of the universe and interpersonal relations are considered as a whole. Any aspect of life is viewed exclusively in the context of the universal. Accordingly, the priority of morality is aimed at rejecting the objective and essential and turning to the mental. In this context, reflexive subjectivity is progressively transformed into recusal.

Pedagogy based on adherence to traditionalism is highly anthropological because it is not just the transmission of knowledge as such that is important, but also the personal integrity to which it should lead. It follows from this that the educational process in a pedagogical strategy based on traditional values becomes inseparable from educational activities [2].

Determining the impossibility of the symbiotic existence of two educational strategies, one should highlight the main differences in the strategic approaches of these pedagogical models:

– worldview dominant:

traditional model: traditionalism, conservatism;

postmodern model: associativity, paradoxicality, anti-rationality;

– foundations of the education process:

traditional model: recognition of a hierarchical world order, subordinate intransigence;

postmodern model: denial of the Absolute, authorities and hierarchical subordination in the world order, priority of one's own subjective path and course;

– goal:

traditional model: a person is personified;

postmodern model: a successful person;

– educated orientation and life orientation:

traditional model: mental rooting and stable moral position;

postmodern model: striving for self-sufficiency and focus on personal success;

– educational content:

traditional model: initiation of tradition and the concept of true values;

postmodern model: reassessment, mixing of value orientations and, as a result, rejection of universals of educational content in favor of multi-vector discourse;

– relationships in the educational community:

traditional model: asymmetric (hierarchy in the system of relations, ethical requirements, subordination);

postmodern model: symmetric (leveling of authority, the desire to abandon the regulation of the process of communication and learning);

– the importance of personality in the process of education:

traditional model: personal example as the main means of education;

postmodern model: diminishing the educational role of the teacher in favor of legal parity.

Currently, mass culture determines the priority of the integrity of the bodily, while the unity of the mental remains less significant and fades into the background. At the same time, the significance and fundamental nature of the idea as such reduces.

Thus, the cultural dominant of the subject's bodily properties over the moral is determined by a radical rethinking of the strategy of order, which appears not only in the form of a strategy of aestheticism, but also in the form of a strategy of reference, which leaves open the question of norms of behavior, morality, and values.

It is important to note that the ideas of postmodernism subject any traditionality to total criticism and declare a categorical rejection of traditional concepts, despite the fact that postmodernism itself rejects categoricalness and totality in any manifestation.

The paradoxicality of postmodernism's denial of static forms of traditionalism leads to the absence of an alternative: postmodernism is unable to offer a new form that meets its standards, i.e. typically criticizing the tradition as a whole, postmodernism, finding no scope for interpretation and free association, hastily defines it in a categorical rejection.

Thus, traditional scientism and postmodern pluralism exist in opposition, which, from the point of view of the traditional educational strategy, makes it difficult to form a harmonious and integral personality. At the same time, the postmodern education strategy justifies itself by the modern instability of social interaction.

Thus, given the rapidity of the development of social systems, a way out of such a conflicting interstrategic state of collapse is possible provided that modern culture accepts the following ideas:

1. The classical attitudes inherent in the traditional strategy of education do not find not only points of support in various sections of social systems, but even points of contact and intersection – the current state of culture is not capable of reflection, using traditional attitudes for this. The traditional tools of classical pedagogy do not work in modern culture. It is important to note that the social adherence to traditionality in modern society has a solid foundation, which in its way does not induce the tradition as a whole to any intrasystem conceptual revisions.

2. Postmodern criticism of traditional educational strategy is absolutely negative. At the same time, postmodernism is unable to offer an alternative that would work in the state of modern culture. This leads to the fact that the claim of the postmodern education strategy to existence can be argued due to a deeper analysis by postmodernism of the fundamental principles of tradition as a basis – an ordered set of vectors – for subsequent stages of associativity and interpretation, leading to the non-polarity and multi-vector nature of postmodernism, thereby freeing the traditional education strategy from deductive schemes.

This opens up the possibility of building a new education strategy, which, on the one hand, would preserve the positive potential of the classical educational paradigm, and on the other hand, would free it from the static and conservativeness that postmodern criticism justly noticed, which would allow it to adapt to the modern cultural situation.


  1. Bauman Z. Individualizirovannoe obshchestvo [Individualized society]. Moscow, Logos, 2005, 390 p.
  2. Koniukhov D. archpriest, Ianushkiavichene O.L. Isikhastskaia i postmodernistskaia modeli obrazovaniia [Hesychast and postmodern models of education]. Russkaia pravoslavnaia tserkov', 2012, available at: https://mospat.ru/church-and-time/1340. (accessed 15 December 2020).
  3. Ogurtsov A.P. Antipedagogika: vyzov postmoderna [Anti-pedagogy: the challenge of postmodernism]. Vysshee obrazovanie v Rossii, 2002, no. 4, pp. 54-68.
  4. Ogurtsov A.P., Platonov V.V. Obrazy obrazovaniia. Zapadnaia filosofiia obrazovaniia. XX vek [Images of education. Western philosophy of education. XX century]. Saint Petersburg, Russian Christian Humanitarian Institute, 2004, 520 p.
  5. Volkov V.N. Znanie, obrazovanie i universitety v mire postmoderna [Knowledge, education and universities in the postmodern world]. Nikonovskie chteniia, 2016, vol. 1, pp. 52-64.
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