A Comparative Study of Educational Implications in Three Modern, Postmodern and Metamodern Approaches

Document Type : Original Article


1 Associate Professor, Department of Educational Sciences, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD , Philosophy of Education, Shahed University, Tehran, Iran


One of the ways to better understand education is to compare their philosophical systems and determine similarities and differences. The aim of this research was to compare similarities and differences of three modern, postmodern and metamodern schools of thought with a comparative approach. The method of data collection was documentary through examination of primary and secondary sources. To analyze the data, thematic content analysis method was used. The first finding of the research shows the evolution of philosophers' opinions from modernism to metamodernism during the last two centuries. Another finding reveals the similarities and differences between modernism, postmodernism, and metamodernism in the realm of macro-topics such as ontology, epistemology, and axiology. It can also be inferred that the supporters of metamodernism try to create a relative balance between the two opposite poles of modernism and postmodernism. From the point of view of education, the findings of the research are clear that the view of metamodernism supporters on issues such as education goals, curriculum, teacher & student role, and teaching-learning methods is to accept or reject some of the educational ideas of the two philosophical schools of modernism and postmodernism. Therefore, it cannot be said that the supporters of metamodernism are the creators of new ideas in the field of education.




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Article Title [Persian]

بررسی تطبیقی دلالت های تربیتی در سه رویکرد مدرن، پست مدرن و متا مدرنیسم

Authors [Persian]

  • اکبر رهنما 1
  • مصطفی زبان دان 2
1 دانشیار ، گروه علوم تربیتی ، دانشگاه شاهد ، تهران، ایران
2 دکتری، فلسفه تعلیم و تربیت، دانشگاه شاهد، تهران، ایران
Abstract [Persian]

یکی از شیوه های ادراک بهتر تعلیم و تربیت، مقایسه نظام‌های فلسفی آنها و تعیین شباهت‌ها و تفاوت‌ها است. هدف این پژوهش، مقایسه شباهت ها و تفاوت های سه مکتب فکری مدرن، پست مدرن و متامدرن با رویکرد تطبیقی بود. روش گردآوری اطلاعات اسنادی از طریق بررسی منابع اولیه و ثانویه و برای تجزیه و تحلیل داده ها از روش تحلیل محتوای مضمونی استفاده شد. اولین یافته پژوهش سیر تحول آرای فیلسوفان از مدرنیسم به متامدرنیسم را در دو قرن اخیر نشان می دهد. دیگر یافته تحقیق شباهت ها و تفاوت های مدرنیسم، پست مدرنیسم و متامدرنیسم را در حوزه موضوعات کلان همچون هستی شناسی، معرفت شناسی و ارزش شناسی آشکار می سازد به نحوی که می توان استنباط نمود طرفداران متامدرنیسم سعی در ایجاد تعادل نسبی بین دو قطب متضاد مدرنیسم و پست مدرنیسم دارند. از منظر تعلیم و تربیت، این پژوهش آشکار ساخت که دیدگاه حامیان متامدرنیسم به موضوعاتی مانند اهداف آموزشی، برنامه درسی، نقش معلم و دانش آموز ، و روش های یاددهی-یادگیری مبتنی بر پذیرش یا رد برخی از ایده های آموزشی دو مکتب فلسفی مدرنیسم و پست مدرنیسم است. با این اساس نمی توان گفت که حامیان متامدرنیسم، پدیدآورندگان ایده هایی نو در عرصه تعلیم و تربیت هستند.

Keywords [Persian]

  • متامدرنیسم مدرنیسم
  • فلسفه تعلیم و تربیت پست مدرنیسم
  1. Introduction

              With the passage of the industrial revolution in Europe, and the emergence of new technologies, major changes in the course of human thought took place during the last few centuries, in such a way that human civilization broke the barrier of the prevailing pre-modern thought and started moving towards the creation of the modern era. According to the authors of this article, the most important feature of this period is the courage of philosophers to create new epistemological methods. This approach, which continued after the Renaissance until the end of the 19th century, brought useful achievements to human society in various economic, political, social and cultural dimensions. During this period, educational systems underwent changes, the most important feature of which was the compulsory schooling for children. At the end of the 19th century, serious criticisms were made against modernism, which led to the emergence of the postmodern period; a period that discovered reality instead of creating reality. The outbreak of World War I and II, which caused doubts about the realization of the ideas of modernism, started the period that went from the structuralism of modernism to the deconstruction of postmodernism. The postmodern approach became an anti-scientific approach due to the failures and disasters that occurred and turned to multiplicity and acceptance of multiplicity. De-structuring in the postmodern way of thinking is a fair critical program that - without accepting any dogmatic ruling - criticizes all issues. By questioning the concepts of modernism, postmodernism seeks to propose dynamic, new and creative concepts. Based on this, post-modern education also seeks to educate more creative and innovative learners. Although post-modern was created in the criticism of modernism, it was eventually criticized and accused of not being able to respond to emerging global issues. Issues that have threatened the life and continuation of human life are the climate crisis and global warming, the spread of injustice in the development process of countries, the ineffectiveness of postmodernism education and training for the creative generation, and lack of effective and coherent structures to fight global problems. These challenges promise the death of postmodernism. This situation has led to the emergence of a new intellectual approach with the beginning of the third millennium, an approach known as “metamodernism”. Considering the necessity of gaining awareness about new approaches and predicting their effects on the society, the present researchers tried to reveal the views of three modern, postmodern and metamodern approaches regarding education and their similarities and differences. The dimensions of comparison in this research include examining the concepts, philosophical foundations and educational implications of all three approaches.


  1. Research Method


        This is a comparative qualitatively research and the methods of data collection and analysis are documentary and thematic content analysis, respectively. Data were obtained through the review of primary and secondary sources related to three modern, postmodern and ultramodern approaches. These sources include books and articles that can be found through searching in international information databases - such as Google Scholar, ERIC, and the journal homepages.


  1. Findings


          The findings include two parts: in the first part, the similarities and differences of the three approaches of modernism, postmodernism, and metamodernism are expressed in the three fields of ontology, epistemology, and axiology. The second part of the article is dedicated to the similarities and differences of the three approaches in the field of educational issues.

- Conceptology

  1. a) Modernism

          Modern is a French word which in Persian means "new, something new, modern and contemporary" and therefore modernism also means "new style". The main origin of this thought was the Western world, which gradually covered all parts of the world. Modernism, as an influential trend in the whole world, relies on philosophical and scientific foundations (humanism, secularism, positivism and rationalism). This term has been used in different periods and places to distinguish contemporary from traditional methods, and basically it can be applied to any field of life. The word modern is derived from the Latin word “Modernus” derived from “Modo”. Modo means recently and very recent past and according to the Romans, being modern means being aware of time. The term modernus is used to distinguish the Christian present from the pagan Roman past. But in the new centuries, modern has been raised against the medieval, that is, the sovereignty of the church (Lyon, 2012). Some western writers believe that the word modern has taken on different meanings, which refer to its different uses by thinkers, such as referring to a certain era or period. So far, the concept of modern has gone through various stages, including in the 15th century - parallel to the Renaissance period - modern was at the opposite point of the middle and had a close relationship with the ancient era. In the 16th and 17th century, modernity was also cut off from its commitment to antiquity and found a concept close to its root - innovation and modernity. The next stage of evolution of the modern word is from the Enlightenment era to this point, when it comes into conflict with the concept of tradition (Dadvar, 2014). In the beginning, the use of the word modern was mostly to distinguish it from the ancient traditions of Greece (Hellenistic and Latin) and the Roman Empire (non-Christian) (Nazari, 2008). Many historians call the period between the Renaissance and the French Revolution the modern era. Some consider the beginning of industrialization of European societies, the emergence of capitalism and mass production of goods as the beginning of modernity. On the other hand, a group of scholars also recognizes the final limit of modernity in the middle of the 20th century and even nowadays (Ahmadi, 2016).


  1. b) Postmodernism

       The word post means the continuation of a current, and modernism, as said, means new. So postmodernism means the continuation of modernism. In Persian language, this term has been translated as trans-modernism, post-modernism and trans-modernism. The Culture of Social Sciences confirms this meaning for postmodernism, but at the same time, different meanings are used. Since this term is used in many sciences, it has a special meaning in each field. "Scott Lash" in the book "Sociology of Postmodernism" considers it a social-scientific concept and a place of conflict in aesthetic, moral and political discourses. In general, it can be said that there is no complete definition of postmodernism until now; because it has undergone many changes over time and no one can give a definite definition about it. The postmodern approach first of all expresses a kind of reaction against modernism and in other words a kind of movement, deviation or break from it. The main core of post-modernism should be found in the lack of general distrust or disbelief towards macro theories, negation of any ideologies, beliefs, doctrines and in a word negation of any meta-narratives or macro narratives in all fields (Nowzari, 2006). Postmodernism is a great denial before it is related to a specific historical period: the denial of modernity. This great denial keeps various forms of postmodernism together. Anyway, the concept of postmodernism is known as an attack on modernity (Moini Alamdari, 2006).


  1. c) Metamodernism

       The beginning of the 21st century under the banner of "metamodern era" is characterized by the movement of human thought and social life beyond post-modern approaches. This period is one of the most recent periods of human intellectual life, which is intuitively related to the non-acceptance of the deconstruction of post-modernity and the desire to rebuild the ideals of equality, multiculturalism, ethics in business, true ethics, rediscovery of religion, new faith in science, and rediscovery of social meaning (Kolesnikova, 2018). Therefore, metamodernism has been mentioned in various forms such as a cultural model, a cultural philosophy, an emotional structure and a logical system. These words mean that metamodernism, like modernism and postmodernism, is really like a special lens for all things—such as thinking about self, language, culture, and meaning. Although, metamodernism is not a movement or statement for life but its principles can be used for the awareness of individuals, groups and even social and political structures. Metamodernists believe that whether we like it or not, this happens repeatedly. These philosophers and theorists see metamodernism as the "dominant" paradigm in many places, meaning that events and structures in these places naturally move toward a metamodern state. None of the above concepts does not mean that modernism and postmodernism - as practical cultural concepts - have disappeared, but it means that now, according to metamodernists, the philosophical strands of modernism and postmodernism are no longer the most active cultural philosophies. Metamodernists claim that metamodernism has been a dominant culture since the mid-1970s in response to the political, economic, and natural upheavals of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Other theorists claim that metamodern processes were first popularized in the 1980s - 2000s because of a specific response to the crises of those decades (Abramson, 2015).

             However, the peak of discussions of symmetrical metamodernism was formed in 2000, so that metamodernism can be considered as a continuation of the reaction to modernism and postmodernism. Metamodernism moves towards goals such as overcoming, breaking and trapping. Metamodernism reconnects with modernism to transcend the "subject" issue of interest. Therefore, "metamodernism" is a set of developments in philosophy, aesthetics and culture that result from postmodernism and react to it. Accordingly, metamodernism is a situation between modernism and postmodernism. In 2010, cultural theorists Vermeulen, and van den Akker proposed metamodernism as an intervention in the process of postmodernism. According to them, metamodern sensibility has a kind of conscious naivety and practical idealism that results in cultural reactions about global events - such as climate change, financial crisis, political instability and digital revolution (Vermeulen & van den Akker, 2010). According to these two philosophers, postmodern culture, relativism and the declaration of the end of history have ended and metamodernism has replaced it. While postmodernism is characterized by deconstruction, irony, relativism, nihilism, and the denial of grand narratives, metamodernism discourse is influenced by concepts such as realism, hope, and romanticism. So, instead of simply returning to modernist ideological positions, it is believed that our era is characterized by an oscillation between modern and postmodern aspects (Turner, 2011). Based on this, metamodernism can be considered as a type of conscious naivety, pragmatic idealism, moderate bias, fluctuation between truth & humor and an effort to achieve a type of transcendental position within human.


Comparison of philosophical foundations in modern, postmodern and metamodern

  • Ontology
  • Modernism

         Modern ontology is humanistic and secularist (Qezelsofli, 2016). With the formation of the modern worldview, existence and nature are the raw material that can be used to build a world suitable for man and his needs, and thus conquering nature is one of the basic principles of the modern world (Ashuri, 1996).


  • Postmodernism

        If, in modernism, global accounting ruled over things in existence, in post-modernity - using the interpretations of thinkers such as Foucault - it should be said that the current time is the era of the withdrawal of accounting from the world. In postmodernism, the question is not whether the world is material or spiritual. Rather, this is a matter of priority, why in one era, the world is material and in another, it is spiritual. Foucault has paid attention to the answers to such questions in his works, including "The Order of Things". His answer was that discourses give direction and meaning to reality. According to Foucault's interpretation in the book "History of Madness", just as the phenomenon of madness was created and discussed during three historical periods - Renaissance, Classical and Modern Era - existence also finds meaning in each period - according to the knowledge of that period. Like Nietzsche, Foucault uses genealogy and sees its task as unmasking the faces of the discourses that form the body of knowledge in each era and provide the possibility of a specific narrative about existence. The thought of postmodernism does not look at the world in terms of ontology, but looks at the views that have been given to the world, or looks at the discourses that interfere and occupy the existence (Qazlesafli, 2007).


  • Metamodernism

           Metamodern in terms of ontology - as Vermaelen and Acker point out in Notes on Metamodernism - oscillates between modern and postmodern. Metamodern falls and rises like a pendulum between opposite poles so that it is not possible to unite these opposite poles (Vermeulen & van den Akker, 2010). Therefore, metamodernism is based on the fluctuation between modernism and postmodernism, although in metamodernism sometimes modernist characteristics and sometimes postmodernist characteristics become more apparent.



The epistemology of modernism is based on the two foundations of reason and experience.

A: Empirical epistemology

          Empiricist epistemology - as one of the foundations of modern epistemology - influenced by the scientific method of thinkers such as Kepler, Galileo, Newton and Bacon, considered science as a means of knowledge and believed that is inductively are obtained through experience, tests and measurements. The new method of experimental knowledge was based on Galileo's thoughts. He believed that the science that does not come from experience - which is the source of all certainties - and does not deal with observations - that is, all the sciences whose source or method and result does not deal with one of the five senses - is false and full of mistakes (Qazlsafli, 2007). Experience believers claimed that only what can be experienced through the senses and what can be tested and verified through experimental testing is knowledge. Based on Newton's epistemological system - which was empirical -, Locke laid the main foundation of modern epistemology - which was based on sensory perception. He believed that it is our empirical considerations that provide the basis of thought for our intellect (Randall, 1999).


B: Rationalist epistemology

           Another path of modern epistemology was to believe in the truth of reason and was influenced by Descartes' treatise on speech. Descartes' philosophical skepticism, "I think, therefore I am", created the knowing subject or subject from the improvisation that he had concluded from his own existence, and knowledge was based on the rationality of modern human. According to Descartes, it is only the analysis of reason that guides us to the "what and nature of things" and what the senses provide turns into the potion of knowledge in the plant of reason (Taabi, 2005:48). Anthony Arblaster, in his work on "The Rise and Fall of Western Liberalism", mentions Spinoza, Descartes and Leibniz as rationalists. Spinoza believes that everything is in the realm of reason and the world is logical and sensible. Uncontrolled sensory perception - which is the source of knowledge from Locke's point of view - is fundamentally worthless according to Spinoza, because only confused and incomplete knowledge is obtained from this passage. Leibniz questions empiricism more directly than Spinoza. According to him, experience is not reliable if it does not benefit from the guidance of reason and is not corrected by it. According to the rationalists, reason is a power that can save us from the normal conditions of slavery to desire and lust, and bring us to such a level that our actions become a final and stable idea, not by any illusion or determine the fleeting feeling (Arblaster, 2009).



           Post-modern speaks of the end of "epistemology" which has caused a relativistic procedure to dominate its cognitive positions. If in modern thought, reason and experience were considered as a means of understanding and perception, in post-modern these two factors are considered to limit understanding and even an obstacle. We go to know things with language and consciousness, so knowledge is limited to language and consciousness. In other words, our understanding of reality is bound to the discourses in which we think. Meanings are not intrinsic, but discourse. Therefore, between man and the outside world, there is always a veil of language and discourse (Bashirieh, 2016).



       In the field of epistemology, metamodernism is accompanied by modernism and postmodernism and moves between rationalism, empiricism and faith to obtain knowledge (Vermeulen & van den Akker, 2010).


  • Axiology


          Modern value systems are mostly exclusive and require their members to follow all their values. The virtues and values supported by modernism to be self-discipline, moral commitment, tolerance, generosity, forgiveness, and fairness, each of which is necessary to communicate with others (Farmihani Farahani, 2004).



            Postmodernists agree that all values, normative questions, feelings and emotions are the product of intellectual human thinking. Postmodern value orientation is such that it rarely sets a precedent or model. In fact, according to the diversity and multiplicity of groups, countless specific values can appear and be organized or destroyed, maintained or changed based on the will of individuals and groups. Robert Nash considers postmodern virtues to be sensitivity to realities, incommensurability, indeterminacy, non-fundamentalism, and hermeneutic awareness (Farmihani Farahani, 2004).


           In value theory, metamodernism forms a family of values according to the challenges. Therefore, it contains values according to the challenges of the time so that it can effectively find a solution for challenges such as sustainability, inequality and alienation.


          Now, in order to better understand the similarities and differences of these three approaches, a comparative table can be drawn as follows, referring to the findings of Tawfiq Yusuf (2017) and adding a row to the last row according to Zaban Dan (2022).


Table 1. Comparing the characteristics of three intellectual approaches




Belief in rational thought

Unscientific belief

Belief in real things

Emphasis on science


Interest in the origin

Belief in universal values

Belief in local values

Belief in ethics


Favours organization

Accepts fragmentation

Belief in elusive horizons

Reflects individuality                      

Believes in multiculturalism,

Belief in pragmatism

Life is Purposeful

Life is meaningless/absurd

Belief in authenticity

Meaning is objective

Meaning is subjective

Meaning is wavering

Favoring simplicity/ elegance

Favors complexity/variety

Favours real/essntial values

Interest in cause and effect

Belief in chance

Seeks reality

Linear thinking

Circular, haphazard thinking

Belief in opposed polarities

Belif in permanence

Belief in transience

Belief in oscillation



Politically oriented

Socially oriented

seeks truth and certainty

Seeks irony and doubt

Seeks in-betweenness










Accepts grand narratives

Accepts small narratives

Accepts both narratives

Interest in man

Interest in metaphysics

Interest in existence




in the present interest

Interest in the past

Interest in all times

Emphasis on human relations

Emphasis on Man's relations with other objects

Emphasis on Man's relation to nature & culture

Values construction

Values deconstruction

Values reconstruction

Espouses uniformity/ purity

Espouses plurality/variety

Espouses duality

Opposes history

Interest in parody& pastiche

Interested in social memory

concern with allusion

Concern with intertextuality

concern with origin

Belonging to the era of radio

Belonging to the era of television

Belonging to the Internet era

  Comparison of educational implications in modern, postmodern and metamodern Education  v  Modernism             Modern education, with the emphasis on the rationality of human beings, seeks to provide the process of their all-round growth with the flourishing of the inherent talents of people. In fact, since the period of modernity philosophers have realized the importance of education in improving the human condition, and while criticizing the education system of their time, have proposed new views on the purpose and methods of education. Little by little, to this social awakening about the importance of education, attention to the knowledge of children and adolescents was also added. During the 18th century, social and political revolution of Europe led to the creation of a large number of educational books - the most important and effective book was Emile from Jean-Jacques Rousseau. These new thoughts caused great experts to be found in this field and suggested new educational philosophies, for example, the emergence of analytical philosophy and existentialism. In addition, wise people realize the social importance of education and meaning and concept of education expands. On the one hand, education goes beyond learning basic concepts and attention to childhood and childhood, and on the other hand, goes beyond attention to intellectual and moral education considering the whole personality of a person. As a result, education is removed from the imposed form and takes the meaning of gradual guidance which causes more and better adaptation of education programs and methods to the changing needs of society and different talents of people (Kardan, 2012). Therefore, the most important achievement that modernity brought to education were implementation of the school education program; making education compulsory for everyone; expanding formal public education; discovering children as the focus of education; and developing theories of socialization. v  Postmodernism             Since postmodernism seeks to explain the crises of the modern era, it also seeks to investigate the crises of education and curriculum. Postmodern thinkers believe that education and training of modernism is in crisis and a new definition of education and its elements should be presented. One of the criticisms of the postmodernism approach is about contemporary education (Peters, 1975). According to Slattery (2006), modernism and modern education systems promote violence, bureaucratic and administrative & organizational locks and chains, curriculum stagnation, unfavorable evaluation, political conflict, economic crisis, emotional & emotional fatigue, immorality of employees and expansion of hopeless. According to postmodernists, the technological effects of modern society on education and training have increased the feeling of hopelessness among learners. In the education of modernism, emotional education is ignored and only "technical rationality" is emphasized (Slattery, 2006, 285-286). Aron Waits and Giroux (1991) consider optimal education and training from the perspective of phenomenology as an education in which the voices of other cultures are also heard. According to them, if the dominant culture speaks slowly in the textbooks, the voices of the subcultures will be heard in it. One of the important points of postmodernism in the field of education is respecting ethnic, racial and gender minorities and supporting multicultural education. By accepting the equality of all cultures, postmodernism tries to help cultural pluralism through education. From the point of view of postmodern educators, it is not possible to design and implement a comprehensive and systematic program for growth and training in modern education. Richard Rorty believes that education should help to realize self-creation and students should be allowed to show their ability in the best way (Farmihani Farahani, 2004). According to the proponents of postmodernism, education should give students the opportunity to develop their critical capacity. Instead of educating merely good citizens, this type of education strives to educate critical citizens, citizens who are able to understand contradictions, social inequalities and domination. In the postmodern view, practical knowledge is valued and pupils should learn to "do". Metamodernism            Metamodernism seeks to educate people who are able to change their life and the world. The fate of the metamodern person is to follow the endless horizons of life and accept changes (Kulisenkova Irina, 2018). Considering the conditions that the metamodern era is facing - conditions whose main characteristics are diversity, changeability, complexity, uncertainty (chaos) - the best option is to harmonize with the changes in life. According to Cormier (2008), education should prepare people to deal with uncertainties. Also, the emergence of digital communication in this period has caused reality and permission to mix with each other in such a way that finding external objective criteria to evaluate the accuracy of information has become very difficult and impossible. On the other hand, the time interval between the production of new knowledge and its obsolescence has decreased so much that it has made it very difficult to adapt education and training to modern knowledge. Based on this, the basic task of metamodern education is to teach life in conditions of uncertainty and lack of objective external criteria to evaluate the accuracy of information. Education Goals ·         Modernism According to Wilfred Carr (1995, 57), the main goals of modern education are:  a)      Rejection of ignorance and superstition with the help of intellectual education,b)     Creating self-directed subjects to realize personal growth,c)      Cultivating common sense and wisdom to build an ideal society,d)     Synchronizing with human progress to achieve prosperity and happiness.


  • Postmodernism


           According to Ahanchian (2005,) believes that there is no definitive educational discourse. Nevertheless, in Lyotard's point of view, among the postmodern educational implications are: respecting "differences", establishing justice, democratic education, cultivating the power of criticism, intuition and imagination, and attention to environmental issues and problems, unfortunate caused by modernity, respecting multiple cultures, attention to the true meaning of individual freedom and student's enjoyment of diverse sources of knowledge (Fani, 2004). Therefore, although the postmodernist thinkers and the curriculum theorists have not addressed this issue directly or emphasized an aspect with a specific purpose, but the following goals for education can be deduced (Farmahini Farahani, 2004: 133):


  1. Training of critical citizens
  2. Providing conditions for the establishment of radical democracy
  3. Emphasizing and paying attention to the discourse of knowledge construction
  4. Examining differences and different systems as an educational goal
  5. Valuing the practicality of knowledge
  6. Attention to general culture and cultural studies
  7. Self-creation


  • Metamodernism

             Metamodernism is trying to free itself from the narrow-mindedness of modernism and dead ends of postmodernism (Koutselini, 2006). To achieve this goal, it oscillates between modern and postmodern educational theories in order to solve problems and respond to the needs of the current world. It is obvious that if metamodernism cannot reach an agreement between these two approaches, it will try to create a solution. Therefore, in the metamodern approach, progress will not stop and human thought is not incapable of facing newly emerging issues. Metamodern education has set the following goals for training people in facing and adapting to the situations of the third millennium (Zaban Dan, 2022).


  1. Preparing to create a changing and evolving labor market by making a direct connection between the skills that the school offers and needs of employers,
  2. Preparing to live as active citizens in complex modern democratic societies,
  3. Acquiring global competencies in the field of innovation and creativity,
  4. Development of critical thinking,
  5. Developing the capacity of joint learning and teamwork,
  6. Flexibility and acceptance of different types of mobility (geographical, professional, intellectual and emotional),
  7. Lifelong learning ability, and
  8. Ensuring success in learning for everyone.


  • Modernism

             With the emergence of modernism, a fundamental change appeared in the attitude of philosophers and thinkers towards humans. Religion, which was the center of all affairs until this time, has been replaced by religion by trusting people and following reason. These scientists believed that man can reach the truth with the help of her/his own reason and experience and without the help of church leaders and wise men of Greece and Rome. Also, in the period of modernism, in addition to the humanist culture movement and the religious reform movement - which led to the emergence of the Protestant religion -, another movement that took place by Francis Bacon and Rene Descartes had a profound effect on education and training. The opinions of these scientists about science caused a new horizon to be opened in the programs of secondary and higher schools and new sciences such as mathematics, physics and mechanics were added to the school program. In addition, a fundamental change happened in the field of methods. Emphasis on sense and experience in learning and studying nature was of special importance. This transformation in educational ideas can be seen in the opinions of educators such as Comenius, Locke and Rousseau. Historically, the curriculum in the modernist era—which arose out of the rationalist humanism of the Enlightenment—is rooted in the thoughts of Plato. The interests of Enlightenment period scientists such as Auguste Comte were also such that they believed in the comprehensibility of the world. According to these thinkers, it can be discovered through rational methods that are best reflected in empirical sciences - that is, the orderly and predictable nature of the world. From their point of view, mysticism and religious revelation are not compatible with rational human nature. In this era, a new optimism arose and the hope of success became so attractive that it led scientists to believe that the order of the world would one day be discovered with the help of the rational human mind. Therefore, the scientific method was a privileged way to achieve this goal, and with such thinking, belief in human power - especially the power of human intelligence - was born to guide and control the future and her/his life.


  • Postmodernism

           The post-modern curriculum emphasizes topics that increase people's cultural, historical, political, ecological, aesthetic and theological awareness. This type of curriculum relies on the context and general conditions of human life. According to the proponents of postmodernism, the content of the curriculum should be such that it places people in the process of "becoming". Also, the curriculum should seek a type of transformational education that will make teachers and students investigate issues in an exploratory journey. In addition, awareness and sensitivity to environmental issues are a definite part of postmodern proposals in the curriculum. The postmodern curriculum does not consider learning to be exclusively the transfer of knowledge. This program is interdisciplinary and does not consider any goal superior to other goals. Post-modern supporters consider difference, variety, ambiguity and others to be the only criteria for the superiority of curriculum goals (Fani, 2004). Postmodernists disagree with the implementation of prescriptive, predetermined, and measurable curricula. Postmodernism brought new concepts into the process of curriculum analysis to accept complications, contradictions and unpredictable networks of relationships.

               The attempt to recognize the curriculum as a transdisciplinary issue was mainly started by Doll (1989). In this regard, he proposed a model namely "transformational curriculum" which is actually a departure from thinking based on technical rationality, in which the concept of "disorder" is emphasized. According to Slattery (2006), the postmodern curriculum emphasizes topics that increase cultural, historical, political, ecological, theological, and aesthetic awareness. In the postmodern curriculum model, the holistic approach and ecological issues are emphasized, in which formal and artificial boundaries between the classroom and the community environment are removed. Therefore, in trans-oriented education, a type of "transformational education" is emphasized in such a way that education is considered a kind of companionship of the teacher and students (Slateri, 1995, 222-24). Kincheloe, & Steinberg (1993) put forward a model of transversal curriculum under the title of model based on "post-formal thinking". Stanley (1992) believes that in the new curricula based on the transnationalist approach, orientations regarding the fight against certain forms of domination - such as sexism, racism, one voice approach, cruelty, political pressure and censorship- should be taken into consideration.


  • Metamodernism

                According to Habermas (1972), metamodern education and training in the field of curriculum seeks liberation and freedom from dogmatic understanding and dependence through intuitive self-reflection. According to Gadamer (1977), metamodern pedagogy uses reflection in teaching as a necessary means to change the concept, but does not seek technical focus with the aim of creating valuable results (Koutselini, 2006). The curriculum of metamodernism provides a platform for the participation of teachers and students in a network of relationships in order to expand the fair opportunities of enjoying education and training for different people (Koutselini, 2006). In the first step, the curriculum of metamodernism accepts the necessity of transformation in the fields of current education and considers the condition of this work in not relying on a specific theory. This curriculum also deals with the re-reading and progressive re-reading of the approaches and ideas of modernism to realize this vision (Koutselini, 2006). The curriculum of metamodernism combines this new idea by following the views of Dewey - on the consideration of the interests of individuals -, the argument of Giroux (1983) - on the influence of domination and authority in education - and the critical opinion of Derrida (1992) - on the necessity of reconstruction after deconstruction. As a new way to understand the meaningful world, the metamodern curriculum defines the limits of metamodern education through the dialectic between man and the world. This approach, which has caused metamodern support for change, interaction and transaction, has raised "openness" as the main feature of metamodern education, an approach that has changed the way we think about human relations with the world.


Curriculum ideology

  1. Modernism

             The ideology governing the modernism curriculum is influenced by the thoughts of Renaissance philosophers and enlighteners such as Locke, Descartes, Kant and Hegel. This ideology emphasizes empiricism, positivism, objective and scientific method and has the following characteristics (Mehrmohammadi, 2019: 118).

  • Discovering general theorems through reason,
  • Achieving the truth through the tools of science and scientific method,
  • Language as a valid tool to achieve reality.



  1. Postmodernism

The ideology governing the curriculum of postmodernism comes from the thoughts of thinkers such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Lyotard, Foucault and Derrida. This ideology, while emphasizing the deconstruction of modernism, includes the following features:

  • Lack of belief in the ultimate truth and inherent values,
  • Emphasis on differences and decentralization,
  • Challenging the dominance of technology over humans, and
  • Skepticism about meta-narratives or grand narratives.
  1. Metamodernism

          The ideology governing the metamodern curriculum includes progressivism derived from the theories of John Dewey and Vygotsky, which has the following characteristics (Koutselini, 2006):

  • Human life is a continuous process of adaptation,
  • Inconsistency of growth and development of intelligence,
  • Roots of progressivism in biology (Darwin's evolutionary theory, Hegel's idea about thesis-antithesis),
  • Problem - oriented of education,
  • Knowing the child in order to teach better,
  • Teacher as a primary responsible for educational planning, and
  • Active participation of students in class.


  • Modernism

         In the curriculum of modernism, the teacher has one of the main roles and is responsible for learning or organizing the learning environment. In this school of thought, the teacher is the embodiment and perfect example of reality for students. The character of the teacher causes the praise and respect of the students and at the same time can create a close friendship for each of them. Taking care of her/his professional skills, the teacher should guide the learners towards the expected results in a carefully organized environment (Farmehini Farahani, 2004).


  • Postmodernism

           In the post-modern curriculum, the teacher is a facilitator of the learning process and not just a knowledge transferer. The role of teacher in the educational thought of postmodernism is based on critical education - that the teacher is the main factor in the realization of this education. Post-modern curriculum considered a teacher of liberating thinking and a transformative intellectual whose main characteristic is moral and critical courage. Teacher should provide conditions for herself/himself and students to rethink experiences, recognize oppressive relationships, express it and provide ways to fix it. Teachers are veterans and guides who have the role of coordinating learning experiences. Their role is mostly to teach students "how to learn". Teachers play an essential role in motivating, facilitating the flow of learning, and facilitating students' creativity (Farmehini Farahani, 2004).

  • Metamodernism

            In metamodern thinking, teachers are placed at the center of the teaching-learning process to end the isolation of the postmodern teacher. In order for teachers not to become hired to fulfill curriculum goals, specific and predetermined results are not taken into account. The reflexive and situational metamodern approach recognizes teachers as producers of knowledge in such a way that they are not passive people in accepting the curriculum of local and national boards (Koutselini, 2006). The metamodern approach even supports the intervention of teachers in the family life of pupils to eliminate educational deficiencies (Koutselini, 2006). The metamodern approach seeks to change teachers' understanding of their work and empower them in such a way as to increase their participation in the decision-making process. This gives teachers autonomy at the school and classroom level to make appropriate teaching decisions (Hargreaves, 1989, 1994). Also, in metamodern education and training, it is insisted on preparation of curriculum by teachers with emphasis on their individuality and educational independence (Ross, 2000). Metamodern education supports their presence in societies and trade unions to increase teachers' self-confidence (Hargreaves, 1994). However, metamodern idea emphasizes the necessity of modernizing teacher education through the system of in-service teacher education evaluation (Adams, 1976; Eggleston, 1980). Metamodern education considers in-service training for teachers as effective and useful, provided they play a role in curriculum design. In this context, Eisner (2000: 347) uses the thoughts of theorists such as Hilda Taba - in the early 1950s - who considered teachers to be curriculum designers and agents of change (Koutselini, 2006).


- Modernism

           Modernism believes in general rules of learning for all people and prefers collective methods. Mental abilities or intellectual powers are the main factor of learning in modernism (Ahanchian, 2005).



          Learning strategies refer to methods of acquiring content (Fathi Vajargah, 2009). In this view, the emphasis is on the learning process, which is based on free information - about specific topics - by the group members and influenced by many factors such as the characteristics of the society, customs & traditions, values and beliefs (Farmehini Farahani, 2004:162). The learning process is assigned a better place and value than the content and information in educational design. Postmodern ideas emphasize group learning and encourage cooperative learning of interpersonal interactions and working groups. Students are not machines that receive concepts simply and based on a specific perspective, but they are learners who are building their identity and knowledge through collaborative learning (Farmehini Farahani, 2004).



                Metamodern learning becomes possible through the interaction of forces in such a way that the foundation of the educational practice is not built by relying on a theory (Koteslini, 2006). Metamodern uses critical pedagogy to continuously reconstruct, develop and refine learning in a specific and meaningful way. Also, the metamodern approach in the field of learning experiences uses the meaningful fields of structured problem solving. Local and environmental learning is one of the distinctive features of metamodern education. Despite the emphasis on personal characteristics, the metamodern learning benefits from the approach of conversation and interaction, problem solving and reflection of pragmatic communities for progress in teaching and learning. Also, metamodern uses collaborative dialogue as a support structure to change and exchange ideas among students (Koutselini, 2006).


  • Modernism

          In modernism, the school is an enclosed and limited place where all students are faced with a strong order of educational rules. All relationships and actions of learners are measured within the framework of school rules and regulations. In the modern school, the connecting factor is common traditions. In the modern age, the school is a rational organization that uses scientific methods to solve problems Remove barriers to student learning. This organization to achieve the goals A predetermined training, based on precise and precise principles, influenced by She designs and implements the educational sciences(Ahanchian, 2005).



  • Postmodernism

         The clearest image that can be presented of the postmodern school is to imagine it as a community. Postmodern society is always in the present and cannot be placed in the past or as a project for the future. Society as a cognitive structure is rooted in the process of communication and democracy. Such a school is fluid, it questions itself, it does not run away from disagreements and contradictions, and it does not emphasize only the rational aspects. The difference between the postmodern school and other schools is that in it common works and in modern schools, common traditions are the connecting factor of the members. The interaction in the postmodern school is not limited to the intellectual and value systems that everyone brings to the school, but the inconsistency and difference of opinion - whether it is in the form of opinion or action - is commendable. Differences of opinion do not prevent coordination and participation, and dialogue is the center of knowledge and a means to produce knowledge (Ahanchian, 2005).

  • Metamodernism

          Metamodern education considers the school as a place for all-round development of people. Therefore, apart from the school environment - which is an open space - other places should be used for teaching and learning. Extracurricular environments are used with the aim of students' participation in dialogues and the production of discourses (Koutselini, 2006).



  • Modernism

          In the curriculum of modernism, the student must accept teacher's words without question and the child has no privacy in the school.

  • Postmodernism

          Postmodernist education is mainly student-centered. From the point of view of postmodernism, a student-centered classroom is a classroom in which opportunities for social interactions, independent research, emergence of creativity, and the possibility of experimenting with different learning styles are provided. In such a class, the student creates knowledge. He should not completely and mindlessly submit to the text, but on the basis of deconstruction, she/he is encouraged to be an informed and critical reader, because the goals of textbook’s writers are not always in line with reality. A careful study of the text and reading it critically has the advantage of not allowing the structure imposed on the text to influence the examination of its content. On the other hand, the critical view proves to the students that the possibilities of meaning are multiple. In this view, students are encouraged to find out the contradictions and inconsistencies in the textbooks and not ignore them. Awareness of contradictions inside a text helps to develop students' analytical skills (Farmihani Farahani, 2004).

  • Metamodernism

           From the point of view of metamodern education, each student is considered a unique person that should be considered her/his feelings and reactions. Metamodernism does not consider the student as a marketable and commercial commodity, although like the postmodernists, it supports the knowledge that leads to job creation. Also, metamodernism seeks to provide suitable grounds for the development of the student's understanding. From the metamodern point of view, all students have talents that can be helped to discover with appropriate education (Koutselini, 2006).

Curriculum content

  • Modernism

            Since in the era of modernism, the content of the curriculum, such as heavenly rules, occupied the whole mind of the teacher and other elements of the school, special attention was paid to science, nature, the needs of society, and abilities and interests of students. This attention led to the entry of science into the curriculum and emphasis on practical and job issues. Students were the focus of the curriculum and development of their potential talents - through games, emphasis on the senses in learning, and discovery through experience. Therefore, the content of the modernism curriculum should include authentic works that represent the highest human achievements in the field of wisdom. The "Great Books of the Western World" program, which Hutchins and Adler started in 1938, reflects the curriculum of modernism. Hutchins argues “ Since the work of all human beings is not the same and because school time is limited, therefore students should study the best books instead of ordinary books, so the decision about removing or adding content to the courses is very important”.

  • Postmodernism

         The postmodern curriculum emphasizes topics that increase cultural, historical, political, ecological, aesthetic and theological awareness. The content of the curriculum should be such that it places people in the field of "becoming". The post-modern curriculum emphasizes the artistic, irrational, intuitive and dramatic dimensions of the individual in the learning process (Farmihani Farahani, 2004). One of the postmodern interpretations of content is the term "learning box", as a consumer of postmodern teachings, when you put your mind into this box - depending on what you want or what you like -, you take out what you had in mind before entering the box, not what is inside it (Ahanchian, 2005). Therefore, the content of the postmodernism curriculum can have these features: 1- No content can increase the scientific and professional competence of the learners. 2- Content should increase the problem solving skills of learners. 3- Content should be designed in different ways. 4- People's opinions should be taken into account in designing and adjusting the content. 5- Learners choose the most useful experience among learning experiences according to their needs and interests.

  • Metamodernism

         Since the present age has been accompanied by the emergence of digital technology, the metamodern approach to education is based on creating a balance between the curriculum content of modernism and postmodernism. In this way, it is possible to avoid determining curriculum content based on a specific theory (Koutselini, 2006).


  1. Conclusion


          Considering the comparison of the viewpoints of three philosophical approaches, it was concluded that in order to overcome the crises of modern and postmodern educational systems, it is possible to create a temporary syntax viewpoint by using the metamodern approach. In fact, the metamodern approach wants to overcome the problems facing the education system by reviving modern structures and restoring meta-narratives - intermittently and temporarily. The metamodern approach without completely negating the postmodern era creates a critical space - by appealing to the creation of an oscillation situation between modern and postmodern perspectives-, so that the education system can benefit from the strength of the modernist approach and at the same time avoids falling into trap of dogmatism and absolutism. The metamodern approach with an evolutionary and hierarchical view of modern and postmodern education systems has been able to overcome the certainty of modernism and postmodern isolation to improve the quality of the education system. It is appropriate that the educational philosophers of Iran, by examining the metamodern approach and analyzing its effective solutions, as well as the adaptation of the principles of this school of thought to the environmental and local conditions of the Iran’s society, help to rebuild the philosophical-educational thinking that governs the curricula.


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