Language in Social Life and Education
This opening chapter suggests how important language is to the processes of learning that humans engage in, whether it is learning about the world through education, or learning about the nature of social life through research in the human sciences. As my opening paragraph hints, in recent decades the search for objectivity and for absolutes in understanding social life has gradually been replaced by a much more skeptical conception of discovery that is more in tune with the real social world. Accordingly, but gradually, human science disciplines are transforming themselves to take account of this diverging view. Furthermore, this quite different understanding of what people can really know about the human condition, is slowly filtering into school curricula, into the pedagogies that teachers choose to use, and into the new modes of administration and evaluation that schools are introducing.