Transmodernism in educational theory: A step closer to liberation?
This chapter is primarily concerned with the utilisation, by David Geoffrey Smith, of transmodernism within educational theory. In it I begin by looking at the origins of the concept of transmodernism and describe what are, for me, its defining features: a rejection of totalising synthesis; a critique of modernity; of Eurocentrism; and of postmodernism; its advocacy of analogic reasoning, and its reverence for indigenous and ancient traditions (its critique of (US) imperialism is dealt with in Chapter 8). The next part of the chapter consists of a Marxist critique of the politics of transmodernism, focusing on: liberating the oppressor; the complicity of modernists in the oppression of the South; and rethought liberal democracy or democratic socialism. I then make some critical comments on the transmodern interpretation of Marxism and social change. I conclude with a consideration of the political and economic choices presented by transmodernism and Marxism, respectively.