Postmodernism as a Factor in the Post-truth Era: Finding a Path for Public Schools in a Time of Chaos

Conference: The Barcelona Conference on Education (BCE2022)
Title: Postmodernism as a Factor in the Post-truth Era: Finding a Path for Public Schools in a Time of Chaos
Stream: Educational Policy, Leadership, Management & Administration
Presentation Type: Oral Presentation
R.D. Nordgren, Southeast Missouri State University, United States
Marius Boboc, Cleveland State University, United States


The COVID pandemic caused pronounced turmoil in public schooling in the U.S. and around the world in nearly all aspects of societies. Even prior to the pandemic, however, U.S. schooling was undergoing profound change caused by advancements in technology and demographic changes, but the most profound change has been an ideological shift emanating from a movement that questions a reality anchored by facts. The subsequent “Post-truth Era,” propagated by right-wing populism, threatens to wreak havoc on a grander and more lasting scale than even the pandemic. When facts, gathered through scientific methods, are dismissed as nothing more than personal opinions by those who find a dissonance between established fact and their worldview, then what becomes of schooling if those schools are controlled by post-truth forces? What does the curriculum look like if reality is constantly contested? This paper outlines the deconstruction of postmodernism as it relates to schooling in a post-truth world, based on an overview of the current state of affairs in the post-truth era, as they relate to PK-12 schooling. The examination details the relevance of postmodernism to this new era, an analysis of postmodernism in relation to schooling, how nativist populism impacts how schooling is and will be conducted and what will be learned, and how postmodernism can act as a mediator between isolationism and internationalization.

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