Deconstruction and education


Deconstruction is a word in contemporary social science, literacy criticism and philosophy that denote a process by which the language and text of the philosophy of the west seem to shift and complicate in meaning when read in light of the assumption and the absences they reveal within themselves. Jacques Derrida coined the term in 1960s, and proved to be more forthcoming with negative analyses for the school. Subjects relevant to deconstruction include the philosophy of meaning in western thought and the ways that meaning is constructed by the western readers and writers.

The major concern of deconstruction is a radical critique of the enlightment project and of metaphysics including the founding texts of Husserl, Plato and Rousseau and also other literatures. It identifies in the western philosophical tradition a “logo centrism” or “metaphysics of presence” which postulates that speech-thought is anadvantaged and an ideal through which all meanings and discourse are derived. The primary target of deconstruction is logo centrism. One typical form of deconstructive reading is the critique of binary oppositions. It argues that in the classic duality of the western thought, one term is central than the other in which the privileged term is the most associated with the phallus and the logos. For example life over death. He argues that in every case the first term is perceived as original.

Deconstructive readers note that one of the phallogocentrisms of modernism is the difference between speech and writing. Writing is historically being thought as a derivative of logos(speech). Derrida argued that the idea of speech writing dichotomy contains the idea of a very wide view of textuality that subsumes both speech and writing. He claims that there is nothing outside the text. Text is thought of as a form of depiction, marking, or storage and not merely as linear writing that is derived from speech. In a sense, deconstruction is simply a way to read text. This makes up for deconstruction’s wide field of scope. Deconstruction isuseful in the fields of science, art, mathematics philosophy and any other disciplines that can be thought of as involving the act of marking.

Deconstruction has a great effect in the field of education especially on the students taking literature. Literature students go to the university with the knowledge that words are words and that nothing in deconstruction changes. These shifts are new appreciation of the necessary limitations of every written translation of thought. The willingness to polarise our tools of understanding is the major difficulty facing the students. Models in physics have been forced to concede and incorporate what has been understood previously while theories in the humanities have not. Variousschools of thought emerge, in several disciplines and what originally drew the student to the study of literature is too often lost. The awareness of the multi-connections implicit in appreciating words as imperfect symbolic representations is crucial to deeper understanding but when forced this too early in a literature student’s education, the written work becomes utterly disconnected from the words they had learned to love and write.

However, deconstruction, especially as voiced in Derrida’s writings, has had a profound effect on many fields of knowledge in American universities, especially during the 1970s. Besides the philosophy and literary theory, the methods and ideas of deconstruction have been put into practice by intellectuals in, sociology, educational theory, linguistics, art, historyand architecture. Though the theory has lost much of its intellectual premises, the universalreception and approval of interdisciplinary scholarship in the 1980s are regarded by many as an outgrowth of deconstruction.


Ozmon, H., & Craver, S. M. (1986). Philosophical foundations of education (3rd ed.). Columbus: Merrill Pub. Co..