International Handbook of Curriculum Research

International Handbook of Curriculum Research

International Handbook of Curriculum Research

International Handbook of Curriculum Research

Synopsis

The International Handbook of Curriculum Research is the first collection of reports on scholarly developments and school curriculum initiatives worldwide. Thirty-four essays on 28 nations, framed by four introductory chapters, provide a panoromic and, for several nations (on which there are multiple essays), an indepth view of the state of curriculum studies globally. As a whole this comprehensive, precedent-setting volume contributes significantly to the internationalization of curriculum studies and the formation of a worldwide field. Curriculum studies straddles the divide between contemporary social science and the humanities. Research in the field is sometimes quantitative, often qualitative, sometimes arts-based, sometimes informed by humanities fields, such as philosophy, literary theory, and cultural studies. It is influenced as well by social science fields, such as psychology, political and social theory, and by interdisciplinary fields, such as women's and gender studies and post-colonial studies. The use of the term "research" in the title is intended to emphasize, despite its paradigmatic differences, the field's relative unity in the project of understanding-a term that includes both theoretical and practical interests and initiatives. The International Handbook of Curriculum Research will serve usefully as the main text in courses devoted exclusively to internationalization and globalization in curriculum studies, and as a supplemental text in general curriculum courses. For prospective and practicing teachers in the United States and elsewhere, it will contextualize national school reform efforts. As a library, personal, and pedagogical resource, this Handbook is an indispensable volume for curriculum studies scholars and students around the world.

Excerpt

This is, I believe, the first international handbook of curriculum studies. As such, it represents the first move in postulating an architecture of a worldwide field of curriculum studies. By worldwide, I do not mean uniform. As I have noted on another occasion, at this stage of formulation, curriculum studies tend to be embedded in their national and regional settings, often stipulated by national educational policies and/or in reaction to them (see Pinar, in press). This fact is evident in the chapters comprising this handbook. The point has a political dimension; it may work against the cultural and economic imperialism associated with the phenomenon known as globalization. Inthe preamble to the recently established (spring 2001) International Association for the Advancement, that point was prominent:

The Association is established to support a worldwide—but not uniform—field of curriculum studies. At this historical moment and for the foreseeable future, curriculum inquiry occurs within national borders, often informed by governmental policies and priorities, responsive to national situations. Curriculum study is, therefore, nationally distinctive. The founders of the IAACS do not dream of a worldwide field of curriculum studies mirroring the standardization and uniformity the larger phenomenon of globalization threatens. Nor are we unaware of the dangers of narrow nationalisms. Our hope, in establishing this organization, is to provide support for scholarly conversations within and across national and regional borders about the content, context, and process of education, the organizational and intellectual center of which is the curriculum. (www.iaacs.org)

I regard this book as a companion event to the formation of International Association; both provide to the field much-needed infrastructure. Also important in this regard are Bjorg Gundem and Stefan Hopmann (Eds.), Didaktik and/or Curriculum, the proceedings of the 1995 Oslo conference, William E. Doll, Jr., William F. Pinar, Donna Trueit, and Hongyu Wang (Eds.), The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies, selected proceedings of the 2000 LSU Conference on the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies, a meeting that followed a 1999 LSU Conference which focused on the intersec-

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