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What Is Curriculum Theory?



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This is the 2nd edition with a publication date of 8/3/2011.

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This primer for teachers (prospective and practicing) asks readers to question the historical present and their relation to it, and in so doing, to construct their own understandings of what it means to teach, to study, to become "educated" in the present moment. Curriculum theory is the scholarly effort #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; inspired by theory in the humanities, arts and interpretive social sciences #xE2;#xAC;#x1C; to understand the curriculum, defined here as "complicated conversation." Rather than the formulation of objectives to be evaluated by (especially standardized) tests, curriculum is communication informed by academic knowledge, and it is characterized by educational experience. Pinar recasts school reform as school deform in which educational institutions devolve into cram schools preparing for standardized exams, and traces the history of this catastrophe starting in 1950s. Changes in the Second Edition: Introduces Pinar#xE2;#xAC;"s formulation of allegories-of-the-present#xE2;#xAC;#x1D; a concept in which subjectivity, history, and society become articulated through the teacher#xE2;#xAC;"s participation in the complicated conversation that is the curriculum; features a new chapter on Weimar Germany (as an allegory of the present); includes new chapters on the future, and on the promises and risks of technology.

Author Biography

William F. Pinar is Professor and Canada Research Chair at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.

Table of Contents

Prefacep. xi
Acknowledgmentsp. xix
List of Abbreviationsp. xxi
Introductionp. 1
The Problem That Is the Presentp. 13
School Deformp. 15
The Race to Nowherep. 15
The Less You Knowp. 20
"Untimely" Conceptsp. 29
Too Little Intellect in Matters of Soulp. 33
The School as a Businessp. 36
The Figure of the Schoolteacherp. 39
From Autobiography to Allegoryp. 43
To Run the Course: Currerep. 43
Allegories-of-the-Presentp. 49
Allegory as Montagep. 56
Why Weimar?p. 62
The Regressive Moment: The Past in the Presentp. 67
The Defeat of Democracyp. 69
The Terrible Questionp. 69
States of Emergencyp. 72
The "Highly Fissured" Republicp. 76
The Regimented Massp. 79
Art as Allegoryp. 83
Economic Crisisp. 87
The Great Age of Educational Reformp. 91
Correctional Educationp. 95
Mortal Educational Combatp. 102
Gracious Submissionp. 102
The Racial Politics of Curriculum Reformp. 109
Students and the Civil Rights Movementp. 114
Freedom Schoolsp. 120
The Gender Politics of Curriculum Reformp. 124
The Progressive Moment: The Future in the Presentp. 133
The Dissolution of Subjectivity in Cyberculturep. 135
Dream, Thought, Fantasyp. 135
"Let Them Eat Data"p. 140
The Death of the Subject?p. 143
Avatarsp. 147
Breaking Newsp. 152
Intimacy and Abjectionp. 156
The Future in the Pastp. 162
The Technology of Cultural Crisisp. 162
The Degradation of the Presentp. 166
A Philosophy of Technologyp. 170
Technology and Soulp. 173
The Analytic Moment: Understanding the Presentp. 179
Anti-Intellectualism and Complicated Conversationp. 181
Anti-Intellectualismp. 181
An Unrehearsed Intellectual Adventurep. 188
Curriculum as Complicated Conversation Is Not (Only) Classroom Discoursep. 193
Is it Too Late?p. 198
The Synthetical Moment: Reactivating the Past, Understanding the Present, Finding the Futurep. 205
Subjective and Social Reconstructionp. 207
A Struggle within Each Personp. 207
Reactivating the Pastp. 212
Understanding the Presentp. 218
Finding the Futurep. 226
Referencesp. 239
Indexp. 259
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