This essay proposes an approach to the teaching of the history of architecture, here termed the paradigmatic approach. It derives from an understanding of Kuhn's "paradigm', and the consequent stratification of Western chronology into paradigmatic episodes. A paradigm is defined as a shared temporal intellectual model which directs and limits the normal activities of a community but which is mutable, undergoing shifts or changes after episodes of crisis. It is proposed that through the hierarchy of artefactual interpretation, the student accesses the 'worlds' of physical (World 1) and objective (World 3) reality and thereby 'recapitulates' the cultural past. This in turn allows for the develpoment of the critical and creative abilities of the student, that of the subjective realm (World 2). As such the approach is seen as being suitable for the teaching of history within the architectural curriculum. A paradigmatic approach requires the identificatoin of episodes of crisis, the identification and interpretation of the representative unique artifacts, and the synergising of the paradigm by which additional artefacts can be critically assessed.
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