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

Joe's Works

J.O.E. Journal
Joe Kincheloe's Works
Free Online Courses
Treasure Hunt Updates
Critical Complex Entrepreneurial Bricolage
Fun Stuff-Hermes Style
Raising the Bar for Radical Love
The Music's In Me
Philosophical Dimension & Indigenous Knowledges
Critical Complex Epistemology
Critical Symbiotic Hermeneutics
Critical Psychology of Complexity
The Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage
Interpretive and Methodological Processes
Bricolage for K12 and Beyond
Critical Literacy
Critical Analytic Reviews
Bricolage Research Dissertation
On to the 11th Dimension
Fourth Dimension Research
Critical Science of Complexity
About Us & Our Mission

JOE LYONS KINCHELOE (December 14, 1950 - December 19, 2008)


Joe stated in Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, "I am profoundly excited by this trek into an evolving consciousness, the pluriverse, a world where dominant power is challenged, an education more exciting than any theme park ride, and a critical complex epistemology" (Kincheloe, 2008, p. 209).

Get to know Joe: Interview with Joe L. Kincheloe

“How do we get the attention of teachers and students anesthetized by consumerism and hyperreality’s saturation of information and marketing iconography. I want to write for this audience in the style of a detective writer (epistemology noir?), a boy’s adventure writer, an author of girls’ romance novels, a beat poet, Lame Deer’s memoirs, or Stephen King penning a horror story all rolled into one.” Joe Kincheloe, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, p. 30



Joe's most recent areas of research:

Evolving Complex Criticality

Multidimensional Critical Complex Bricolage

Critical Ontology
Critical Psychology of Complexity (replaces "Postformalism")
Critical Complex Epistemology

Critical Hermeneutics

Symbiotic Hermeneutics

Critical Constructivism (His Unified World View/Philosophy)

Critical Science of Complexity



"If the critical complex epistemology is taken seriously, everything is open to change, as the comfortable Western assumptions about knowledge, being, and socio-political and economic arrangements no longer hold" (Kincheloe, Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction, 2008, p. 192).

It should be noted that the above research endeavors are updates based on what he had outlined in his most recent books: Critical Constructivism (2005), Critical Pedagogy Primer (2008), and Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction (2008)(K & CP). I will update this with more details, but for those of you who are interested in the meantime, please refer to the books as specified.


IMPORTANT NOTE: Joe passed away in 2008. Please critically analyze any works published after that date that lists him as an author--I recommend strongly that you go back to his seminal works--primary versus secondary research. Strangely, as I have learned, critical pedagogy in many ways has become a ruse. Don't be fooled! Joe, of course, took his critical pedagogy VERY SERIOUSLY. 


The following two articles are Joe's seminal works conceptualizing bricolage. The second article is particularly important because this was written after his and Berry's (2004) book, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage, and after he had received reviews of his first article from Peter McLaren, Yvonna Lincoln, and William Pinar (I have included a link to those reviews as well). It is the second article in which Kincheloe (2005) has more clearly emphasized his “dimensions” of research from which I draw and will be expanding upon for purposes of application.


The bricolage advocated here recognizes the dialectical nature of the disciplinary and interdisciplinary relationship and promotes a synergistic interaction between the two concepts. In this context, the bricolage is concerned not only with divergent methods of inquiry but with diverse theoretical and philosophical understandings of the various elements encountered in the act of research (Abstract).

Kincheloe, Joe L. (2001). Describing the bricolage: Conceptualizing A New Rigor in Qualitative Research. Qualitative Inquiry, 7, 6, 679-692.



Sadly, the links to the articles below have been broken. It seems these articles are hard to find FREE on the Internet now. COMING SOON: A critique of these critiques! Check back soon.  

Lincoln, Y. S. (2001). An emerging new Bricoleur: Promises and possibilities—A reaction to Joe Kincheloe’s “Describing the Bricoleur.” Qualitative Inquiry,7, 6, 693–696.

McLaren, P. (2001). Bricklayers and bricoleurs: A Marxist agenda. Qualitative Inquiry, 7, 6, 700–705.


Pinar, W. F. (2001). The researcher as bricoleur: The teacher as a public intellectual. Qualitative Inquiry,7, 6, 696–700.


Next in line as a critical theoretical work for Kincheloe's bricolage is the book he and Kathleen Berry wrote, Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage. He wrote the theoretical chapters and she followed them up with a discussion and demonstrations of application of the theory. Thus, this is an important book for understanding his conceptualization of bricolage. After this book, he went on to further delineate it with his next article.



The bricolage offers insight into new forms of rigor and complexity in social research. This article explores new forms of complex, multimethodological, multilogical forms of inquiry into the social, cultural, political, psychological, and educational domains. Picking up where his previous Qualitative Inquiry article on the bricolage left off, this article examines not only the epistemological but also the ontological dimensions of multimethodological/multitheoretical research (Abstract).


Kincheloe, Joe L. (2005). On to the Next Level: Continuing the Conceptualization of the Bricolage. Qualitative Inquiry, 11, 3, 323-350.



Books Published (Single authored):

Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction (2008). Springer 

Critical Pedagogy. (2008). New York: Peter Lang Publishing 

Critical Constructivism (2005).  New York: Peter Lang Publishing. 

Critical Pedagogy. (2004). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. 

The Sign of the Burger:  McDonald’s and the Culture of Control.  (2002). Philadelphia, PA. Temple University Press.   (Korean Edition, 2004). 

Teachers as Researchers:  Qualitative Paths to Empowerment, 2nd Edition.  (2002).New York: RoutledgeFalmer. 

Getting Beyond the Facts:  Teaching Social Studies/Social Sciences in the Twenty-First Century.  (2001). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. 

Hacia una revision critica del pensamiento docente.  (2001). Barcelona: Ocaedro. 

How Do We Tell the Workers?   The Socio-Economic Foundations of Work and Vocational Education. (1999). Boulder, CO: Westview Press. 

A Formacao Do Professor Como Compromisso Politico:  Mapeando o Pos-Moderno.  (1997).Porto Alegre, Brazil: Artes Medicas. 

Toil and Trouble: Good Work, Smart Workers, and the Integration of Academic and Vocational Education.  (1995). New York: Peter Lang Publishing. 

Toward a Critical Politics of Teacher Thinking:  Mapping the Postmodern.  (1993). South Hadley, MA: Bergin and Garvey. (Portuguese Edition, 1995; Spanish Edition, 1999). 

Teachers As Researchers: Qualitative Paths to Empowerment. (1991).  New York: Falmer Press. 

Getting Beyond the Facts:  Teaching Social Studies in the Late Twentieth Century.  (1989). New York: Peter Lang. 

Understanding the New Right and Its Impact on Education.  (1983). Bloomington, Indiana: Phi Delta Kappa. 

Co-Authored Books: 

Reading, Writing and Thinking: The Postformal Basics (2006). Rotterdam: Sense Publishers. (with P.L. Thomas). 

Rigour and Complexity in Educational Research: Conceptualizing the Bricolage. (2004). London: Open University Press. (with Kathleen Berry) 

Art, Culture, & Education:  Artful Teaching in a Fractured Landscape.  (2003). New York:Peter Lang Publishing.  (with Karel Rose) 

Contextualizing Teaching: Introduction to the Foundations of Education.  (2000).  New York:  Allan & Bacon. Longman.   (with Shirley Steinberg and Patrick Slattery) T

The Sigma of Genius: Einstein, Consciousness and Education (1999). New York: Peter Lang (with Deborah Tippins and Shirley Steinberg 

Changing Multiculturalism: New Times, New Curriculum.  (1997).   London:  Open University Press. (with Shirley Steinberg)


Joe's Mission

Joe was truly on a new mission and he was excited about it. "Yes, I admit it -- I want to see not only a social and pedagogical revolution but an epistemological and ontological revolution as well" (K & CP, p. 252). And as he stated, "Western society's focus on normal consciousness as the only state of mind worth addressing and even then in the most narrow of ways is a major impediment to the development of a critical complex epistemology and its understanding of multiple realities (Goswami, 1993; Bridges, 1997; Lustz, et al., Varela, 1999; McLeod, 2000; Scharmer & Varela, 2000)" (K & CP, p. 232). Further, he wrote, in the last chapter of Knowledge and Critical Pedagogy: An Introduction:

There is so much more to deal with relating to these issues, especially in the way that contructing new epistemologies may be central to human survival. While this is no short book, it is merely an introduction to these knowledge-related issues and their impact on numerous dimensions of human life including the production of selfhood, power relations, the dynamics of colonialism, and ecological sustainability and its implications for the planet's future. These are grandiose claims, admittedly, but I don't believe that such ostentation discredits their reality and importance. As I realize how much more I have to write on the topic, I am already planning new books and articles that pick up where I leave off here (K & CP, p.227).

Joe stated, "I know that if I am too successful in raising these issues about the power dimensions of epistemology and the politics of knowledge the metaphorical sword is ready to do its bloody work. Indeed, if critical scholars provide too much interference in the corporatist, imperial university's effort to provide universal definitions that support their benefactors, they know they are nothing more than expendable commodities in higher education's twenty-first century logic of capital (Roue, 1987; Saul, 1995; Ward, 1995; Harding, 1998; Fenwick, 2000; Steinberg & Kincheloe, 2006)" (K & CP, p. 222).

Angel-Joe.jpgIt appears society has made little if any progress and history repeats itself over and over: "...mainstream Westerners have been thoroughly acculturated to ridicule anything that falls too far from the epistemological mothership" (Kincheloe, K&CP, p. 187).

I find this very sad, actually. But I am also hopeful that there are many people out there who are just as fed up as I am with being treated like mindless puppets just so we can earn our table scraps, people ready to get involved and take action to turn things around.  ~ Vanessa

About Joe's "ANGEL" photograph: I met Joe in July of 2008 in Vancouver, Canada. Recently, I was looking back through the photos I had snapped and found this one. It is just so appropriate in so many ways. Joe truly did possess qualities that most of us can only wish for. He believed the world can be transformed through love and his theory is based on that belief. Relevant to this, I actually had referred to him as an "angel" on occasion....and then I found this amazing photo. The light above his head was quite by accident. I was just focused on getting a good photo of him. I love it. My calling Joe an "angel" was more a term of endearment, I guess one could say, just because he was so very kind. I am clarifying because I realize that some of those around him may be offended by a religious connotation. After reading so much of Joe's work, I do not believe he would have been offended whatsoever and one thing is certain: Joe, through his work, holds the light for us all! You can read about the transformative day I met Joe here. ~ Vanessa



Joe as Lead SInger/Keyboardist
Joe as Lead Singer/Keyboardist



~ la lucha continua ~

"It's a whole new world, Baby!"



Sunday, July 01, 2012 Update:


The Gift Joe Left for the World


I SOLVED IT!!!! I am so excited! I really did solve it.

But Einstein was the first person to solve the Theory of Unity.

So my next task is to show how and where Einstein solved it.

(I already have some great clues).

Credit needs to go where credit is due

and Joe knew that Einstein solved it.

So what Joe did was show us how we can ALL solve the

greatest mystery of life for ourselves

and even make our own magic

(in relationship: It takes two to tango!).

Watch for my dissertation soon!

I’m almost there! (And you can be, too.)


More later . . .




As Joe said: "You ain’t seen nothing yet!” (Kincheloe, 2006).


Ready, Set, Go! - Tokio Hotel






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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