Joe Kincheloe's Critical Complex Epistemology/Pedagogy & Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

Philosophical Dimension of Bricolage

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Philosophy & Kincheloe's Unified World View & Indigenous World Views & Critical Complex Hermeneutics & Critical Symbiotic Hermeneutics & Critical Complex Epistemology & Historicity & Constructivism

I will remind readers that all of the ideas on this website are meant to be taken holistically. I really don't like separating topics out, but at the same time because Kincheloe's ideas are so holistic and are too much to take in all at once for many of us, I am compelled to present them in smaller portions. I have found that once people "get this" and spend time in a cyclical, improvisational manner on the various components of his bricolage that it all comes together to form a grander, more cohesive picture. As he has stated, it's ok to look at the parts, but remember they are in relationship with other micro, meso, and macrosystems. He also had mentioned that we are in the strange predicament of having to describe the world from within the world (Knowledge & Critical Pedagogy). This is where hermeneutics is so useful because we can repeatedly look at the subsystems in relation to each other and the larger systems and vice versa, and come to greater understandings of deeper and more complex relationships the more we practice.

In Zen, a duality between Higher Self and Lower Self is not made because - if you believe in the Higher Self, this is a simple trick of the Lower Self. Alan Watts

The "Philosopical Dimension" of Kincheloe's Bricolage should be started very early in the research phase and continue throughout. The recommended process is to read about various philosophies, write about them, and attempt to form one's own philosophical perspective to use to ground the research. This requires including oneself throughout the research process and discourse, or as they frame it in education "self-reflexivity."

Here's an introductory video by Manly P. Hall. There are hundreds of YouTube videos of his lectures, so I encourage listening to as many of them as possible--as well as other philosophical videos and works.

In the very beginning of his bricolage book, Joe states the following about his rigorous form of fbricolage: "Making sure everyone understands that I conceive of it as a critical discourse, I focus attention on the way bricolage operates on an understanding of dominant forms of power. Asserting that the bricolage is grounded upon a philosophical form of research, the chapter [Chapter 1] traces how an awareness of the historical embeddedness of all acts of knowledge production and social construction of knowledge shape the world of the researcher" (Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research, p. x). On page 8 of the same book, he describes in greater depth, "Specifying the Importance of Philosophical Research in the Bricolage." Philosophy should be a part of our daily work and should be given a huge role in our research and knowledge production.

Kincheloe's Unified World View: The Foundation for His Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage
Kincheloe's "Unified World View" is presented in his book Critical Constructivism. It forms the philosophical and theoretical foundation of all of his "multidimensional" and "critical complex" theories. It's highly recommended reading in order to understand his bricolage process for the purposes of application. In this book, he presents the 12 points and a detailed discussion of their attributes that make up his philosophy. Kincheloe, Joe L. (2005). Critical Constructivism. New York: Peter Lang.

His unified world view is based on a highly developed and evolving holistic philosophy. This philosophy is comprised of 12 major points which he describes in his book Critical Constructivism. The 12 points coalesce together to form his multidimensional critical complex world view. It’s a new, evolving worldview. We might refer to it as Kincheloe’s multidimensional critical complex unified world view. It forms the foundation of his unique formulation of critical theory, epistemology, ontology, critical psychology of complexity, the multidimensional critical complex bricolage, etc.

Indigenous World Views
Kincheloe also stresses over and over again throughout his work the importance of indigenous world views and perspectives from around the world, which greatly informed the world view he conceptualized in his book, Critical Constructivism, as presented above. Rigorous research in the bricolage requires this. Thus, on this page, I will be highlighting this important dimension of bricolage.

Moving beyond the "Tools" Metaphor 

Richardson, Troy A. (2012). Indigenous knowledge and the machinist metaphors of the bricoleur researcher. International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, 1-22. Link to Preview.

You can find more information here. 

Bringing the East and West, North and South Together In Freedom, Sovereignty, and Unity

Joe writes:

My conception of emancipation is a fluid, ever evolving one that is humble—not arrogant—in its understanding of the limitations contextual  and power driven factors place on everyone’s effort to understand themselves and the world—my own included. Thus, postformalists [bricoleur-researchers] work to achieve a profane enlightenment in relation to social construction of mind and ways that we can unite with others from diverse backgrounds and orientations to expand the nature of our consciousness in ways that lead to transformative social action. In this context, postformalists [bricoleur-researchers] seek connection with a variety of phenomena—other humans, the natural world, a diversity of insights from cultural traditions both ancient and contemporary, both Western and non-Western. (pp. 16-17, Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking)

Here are some videos that will help move us toward a deeper philosophical understanding of some of these points Joe has made and that have been made on this website. It’s important to do your own personal homework; these videos are only a start—research other perspectives as you are prompted and guided to doing so—and most of all, take actions. Even the smallest actions can have amazing effects, as predicted by complexity and chaos theories:


Ancient Knowledge


Earth Talk: Fritjof Capra - The Systems View of Life


The Lakota Paradigm


'We Live to Survive': One Week with Lakota (Part 1)


Lakota Thought & Philosophy (Fall 2012) - Francis Cutt

Lakota Teachings & Health (Fall 2012) - Albert White Hat Sr.


Robert Morning Sky star elders 1-6

Robert Morning Sky 2-6

Robert Morning Sky 3-6

Robert Morning Sky 4-6

Robert Morning Sky 5-6 

Robert Morning Sky 6-6

2012-10-21 Ever Beyond Robert Morning Sky

Seth Speaks- Eternal Validity of the Soul excerpts - Jane Roberts


Critical Complex Hermeneutics
Critical Symbiotic Hermeneutics


Free Downloads: Academic papers and articles relating to philosophy, theory, and praxis that synthesize Joe's ideas.


The following paper was actually written a couple of months before I came across Joe and his work. Eventually, I will rewrite it and synthesize his great thoughts. :) When I reread this, though, it is now more clear why Joe's work appeals to me so much! As he always put it, "like minds." I just wish I was the genius he was.

Should Western-Based Ethics Form the Foundation of Global Distance Education? (Paradis; March, 2008)

The first paper below was written for a course in Education for which I was to argue for either Instructivist or Constructivist teaching. Instructivist teaching is comprised of direct instruction as to what students are to learn and how; whereas, constructivist teaching allows learners to construct their own learning based on guidance by the teacher. In practice, what is labeled as constructivist is little more than a disguised form of instructivist teaching and the outcomes are nearly always predetermined. Joe covers this well in his book, Critical Constructivism. Thus, the argument between instructivist and constructivist methods becomes meaningless and circular. This paper calls for a fresh approach using Joe’s theory and shows how we can escape these circular, either-or, and dichotomous arguments through the incorporation of a consideration of complexity. In this way, teachers can facilitate empowerment for self-construction of consciousness, resulting in increased creativity and human potential that leads to original knowledge production that can truly "alleviate suffering" and change the world as Joe's theory calls for.

Consciousness Construction: Escaping the Circular Arguments of Instructivism and Constructivism. (Paradis; Spring, 2009)

The Need for a Continuing Assessment of Our Philosophies (Paradis; Spring, 2009)

My Personal Educational Philosophy (Paradis; November, 2009)

The Shifting Paradigms: What's Preventing Progress? (Paradis, 2009)

Remembering Joe Lyons Kincheloe: A Revered Master (Paradis, 2011)

Big Deal-Catch Up 
“As a child I wanted so desperately for magic to be real. I would work for hours collecting what I hoped were just the right combination of ingredients to make some type of magic potion that would provide me with special powers….I found such magic in words viewed in a postformal matrix and I observe and practice that magic everyday.” (Kincheloe, 2006, Reading, Writing, Thinking, p. 13)
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