Despite decades of research exposing its limitations, transmission-based pedagogy is notably resistant to change. This paper argues that reform efforts will continue to be limited without a concomitant historical, dialectical analysis of the origin of such pedagogy. The paper locates the origin of transmission-based pedagogy in the economic and social transitions of seventeenth century Europe. It concludes by suggesting that only a dialectical understanding of this emergence can sensitise the education community to the possibilities for genuine transformation immanent in the current educational landscape.
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