International Handbook of Curriculum Research

By William F. Pinar | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION
William F. Pinar
Louisiana State University

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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