Date of Award

2018

Access Restriction

Campus Access only dissertations

Degree Name

Doctorate in Education

Department

Education

School or College

School of Education

First Advisor

Antonia Darder, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

William Parham, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Rebecca Herr Stephenson, Ph.D.

Abstract

Much attention has been given to “bridging the gap” between research and practice since neuroscience research first made claim to its potential impact in classrooms. With the inception of Mind, Brain, and Education (MBE) as a new interdisciplinary field, an unprecedented opportunity to explore the educational implications of new research coming out of neuroscience has presented itself. And yet, the gap between research and practice persists while new problems arise as education looks to brain science for answers with ongoing social and academic difficulties faced by students. A critical bicultural methodology, grounded in a decolonizing interpretive approach, is utilized to interrogate the field of MBE in order to shed light on the epistemological power dynamics and social justice issues that inform the field. By examining the historical, philosophical, economic, and ideological roots of neuroscience and education, a colonizing epistemology and hidden curriculum of inequality is revealed. The lack of awareness of how MBE, if left unexamined, will continue to fall short of the democratic and socially just goals of education is also addressed. The argument made is that there exists an abyssal divide within the field that epistemologically privileges neuroscience with its reductionist, Eurocentric, and positivist discourse. The case is made that the field must move toward an itinerant position that honors hierarchical dialogue and praxis and places the voices, scholarship, and values of educators and students at the forefront of this educational movement, in order to close the gap between research and practice in emancipatory ways.

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