What Is Curriculum Theory?

What Is Curriculum Theory?

What Is Curriculum Theory?

What Is Curriculum Theory?


Introduction to curriculum theory; provokes and engages students in thinking about and understanding curriculum in terms of how it is situated historically, socially, and autobiographically.


Fellow educators—are we not lost? Do we know where we are, remember where we have been, or foresee where we are going?

—Dwayne E. Huebner (1999, 231)

[T]he fundamental issue goes unnoticed: the abandonment of the historic mission of American education, the democratization of liberal culture.

—Christopher Lasch (1995, 177)

We are not in the world merely by virtue of being born into it; indeed, most of us are not really in the world at all.

—Kaja Silverman (2000, 29)

This book is no comprehensive introduction to curriculum studies, as Understanding Curriculum (Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery and Taubman 1995) attempted to be. Although the book contains no systematic review of the scholarship in the field, serious students of the field will hear echoes of others' work on nearly every page. Indeed, I quote much more than the customs of scholarship deem prudent, precisely in order to make audible the voices of others, to underscore the fact that the field is no solo performance. Curriculum theory is a complex, sometimes cacophonous, chorus, “the sound of silence breaking” (Miller in press).

Because my academic discipline is education, my work as a scholar and theoretician is structured pedagogically. In my performance of a classroom . . .

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