Chapter 3: Education and Social Self-Creation between Solid and Liquid Modernity

Jim Garrison


This essay intersects John Dewey’s pragmatism with Zygmunt Bauman’s sociological thinking. It explores the creative dimension of Dewey’s constructivism with an emphasis on social self-creation. Bauman’s notions of solid and liquid modernity – among other things his ideas about conditions of time/space and work – supplement Deweyan constructivism by specifying some characteristics of the contemporary social environment that contribute to the social construction of the mind and self. The paper situates the Cologne International Teacher Education Laboratory within the flux of liquid modernity before discussing what Dewey’s theory of inquiry may contribute toward teachers living a more enthusiastic, free, and more creative professional life. The paper concludes with a call for teachers and teacher educators to join with us in forming what Dewey would call a “public” of concerned, committed, and creative educators.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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