Dr. Andrew Stables is Professor of Education and Philosophy at the University of Bath and European Editor of the Journal of Curriculum Studies. He has over 100 publications (often in leading journals) in the fields of theory of education and curriculum.2006 0-7734-5882-4
Semiotics – the study of signs – is not an entirely new discipline. However, in this study, the author breaks new ground by exploring the possibilities of adopting a view of ‘living and learning as semiotic engagement’ as foundational to our understandings of education, management and other aspects of social and cultural life. The approach has the potential to transcend sterile debates based on sets of dualisms that can be traced back to Descartes’ distinction between body and mind: in particular, cognitivism vs. behaviorism, public vs. private, and ‘the individual’ vs. society. It also has the potential to forge stronger connections between hitherto very different disciplines, such as economics and educational studies. The semiotic approach to these issues is explored with respect to ‘living’, ‘learning’, ‘managing’ and ‘understanding,’ while the final section offers an overview, summarizing the arguments and their implications for research, policy, professional practice and individual life-planning. The argument draws on a range of theoretical resources, most notably philosophical pragmatism, process metaphysics, political liberalism and poststructuralism. Overall, there is a strong emphasis on practical application of these ideas. All in all, the book offers a fundamental rethinking of education and social policy based on a carefully justified, but hitherto little explored, set of premises.