The re-historicisation and increased contextualisation of curriculum and its associated pedagogies

Torok, Robyn (2007) The re-historicisation and increased contextualisation of curriculum and its associated pedagogies. International Journal of Pedagogies and Learning, 3 (1). pp. 67-81.

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Curriculum has traditionally been an historical and technical field. The consequence has been to view curriculum and its associated pedagogical practices as neutral entities, devoid of meaning - in essence arising ex nihilo. However, this naïve assumption has fatefully resulted in revisiting the same swamps over and over again.

Standardised curriculum and pedagogy function invisibly to reproduce class and inequality and to institutionalise cultural norms. Despite lingering attempts to maintain this technocratic approach that ignores subcutaneous meanings, a strong movement has emerged to reconceptualise curriculum in terms of its historical and sociopolitical context.

While it is conceded that this is a step into a larger quagmire, it is a necessary one if true progress is to be made. Nevertheless, this large quagmire provides the possibility of escape, unlike the fatal determinism of forever returning to the swamps. Expectedly, this move to reconceptualise curriculum has its critics. Their arguments are also addressed, in particular the perceived tendency to separate theory and practice.

Although curriculum and curriculum practices can be contextualised in many ways, this paper focuses primarily on key political concepts and concealed constructs such as hegemony, reproduction and resistance, resilience of the institution, the non-neutral nature of knowledge, the inclusion/exclusion principle, slogan systems and the hidden curriculum.

Only by understanding the complex historical and political nature of curriculum can teaching professionals understand the hidden meaning of their practices. This is the first step for professionals to take in order to achieve Giroux's (1979, 1985, 1992) vision of teachers as transformative professionals (particularly through collaborative frameworks like the IDEAS project) in a climate of standardised curriculum and testing.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © Copyright of articles is retained by authors. As this is an open access journal, articles are free to use, with proper attribution, in educational and other non-commercial settings.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Education (Up to 30 Jun 2013)
Date Deposited: 08 Dec 2011 01:46
Last Modified: 03 Jul 2013 00:48
Uncontrolled Keywords: pedagogical practice; curriculum practice; school program; educational reform
Fields of Research (2008): 16 Studies in Human Society > 1605 Policy and Administration > 160506 Education Policy
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
13 Education > 1303 Specialist Studies in Education > 130304 Educational Administration, Management and Leadership
Fields of Research (2020): 39 EDUCATION > 3902 Education policy, sociology and philosophy > 390201 Education policy
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
39 EDUCATION > 3904 Specialist studies in education > 390403 Educational administration, management and leadership
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): C Society > 93 Education and Training > 9399 Other Education and Training > 939903 Equity and Access to Education

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