The Curriculum

Whose Internationalization?

by João M. Paraskeva (Volume editor)
Textbook VI, 220 Pages


The Curriculum: Whose Internationalization? asks a series of important questions in the re-examination of the internationalization of curriculum studies. It reflects the work of the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Task Force – created at the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies annual meeting in New Orleans in 2011 – in the context of new theoretical avenues such as the Itinerant Curriculum Theory (ICT) to help address issues related to the problematic nature of internationalization and globalization.

Table Of Content

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • Praise of the author
  • Advance praise for The Curriculum: Whose Internationalization?
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Chapter One: The Curriculum: Whose Internationalization?
  • Chapter Two: Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledges
  • Chapter Three: Curriculum: The Need for a Radical Copresence
  • Chapter Four: Las Etapas de la Educación y Revolución: Literacy, Communism, and Democracy from Raúl Ferrer to Tao Xingzhi
  • Chapter Five: Tasanhak, Korean Neo-Confucianism, and Curriculum Studies: Complicating Conversations in Human Nature, Knowledge, and Justice
  • Chapter Six: The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies: The Contribution of Jamaica’s Marcus Mosiah Garvey
  • Chapter Seven: Indonesian Curriculum Theorist: Ki Hadjar Dewantara
  • Chapter Eight: In the Third Moment in Curriculum Studies: A Dialogue Between Seikatsu Tsuzurikata and Critical Pedagogy
  • Chapter Nine: Anton Semyonovich Makarenko: A Few Western Myths Debunked
  • Chapter Ten: Curriculum Counterstrokes and Strokes: Swimming in Nonexistent Epistemological Rivers Dialoguing with Sousa Santos
  • Conclusion: Itinerant Curriculum Theory: A Reiteration
  • Contributors

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The Curriculum

Whose Internationalization?


This volume, like so many others, has an atypical history. At the 11th annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (AAACS) in New Orleans in 2011, some of us1 got together in a discussion panel regarding the internationalization of the field. While we were all struck by the importance of the theme, some of us expressed reservations regarding the way internationalization has been framed. For example, I raised a serious concern regarding the way such internationalization has been colonized and the need for it to be examined as one of the symptoms of what decolonial thinkers termed coloniality (see, e.g., Grosfoguel, 2000; Maldonado-Torres, 2008; Mignolo, 2012, 2103).

Going back to my notes, my concerns (shared by many scholars in Africa, especially Southern Africa and Latin America) were these: What does one mean by ‘internationalization’? Whose internationalization? Which language dominates this ‘internationalization’? Whose voices have been silenced? Whose knowledge has been systematically dismissed, ignored, and produced as nonexistent? To me, the internationalization move could not ignore the struggle for social justice that is indeed a struggle for cognitive justice. For me, the emphasis should be put on what Boaventura de Sousa Santos (2014) called epistemicides and what I championed in the field as curriculum epistimicides. Santos argued that Western European epistemologies have been produced and reproduced in such a way as to engineer other non-Western epistemic forms to be nonexistent. He stated the following: ← 1 | 2 →

Santos (2014) added that epistemicide ‘is not an epistemological artefact without consequences. … [I]t involves the destruction of social practices and the disqualification of social agents that operate according to such knowleges’ (p. 153). This pattern has been visible in some waves of internationalization. From this crucial debate, a decision was collectively made to establish what we called The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Task Force (hereafter TICS), charged with the responsibility of engaging in the study and translation of material from non-Western, nonwhite scholars, and examining their possible contributions for the internationalization of the field. Needless to say that such task will help all of us to rethink the field’s role in ‘the production of globalized localisms and localized globalisms [which is] increasingly determining or conditioning the different hierarchies that constitute the global capitalist world’ (Santos, 2006, p. 397).

This group decided to put a session together for the AAACS’s 12th annual meeting the following year, to be chaired by Andrea Baldwin, with me serving as the discussant (Paraskeva, 2012).

While in New Orleans, I was also cordially invited by AAACS President Peter Appelbaum to be the program chair of the 12th annual meeting to be held at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada. I accepted the invitation and suggested the name of Maria Alfredo Moreira, a professor at the University of Minho and a visiting professor at the University of Washington, Seattle, to work as cochair.

Maria and I started working and talking immediately about the theme for the 12th annual meeting. While it was quite clear in our heads that the theme should cover the emerging wrangle over globalization-internationalization, it was not that easy to encapsulate in a brief call for papers the towering ideas and notes that we took from the meeting in New Orleans. For us (Paraskeva & Moreira, 2012), ‘the beginning of the new millennium may well be the moment in history that demonstrates how internationalization has conquered the epicenter of the curriculum field’. Within the theme, we argued that ‘internationalization, conceptualized and developed within various epistemological perspectives, has become an inevitable and legitimate ‘macro project’ for the present and future of the field of curriculum studies’. Having been around so many annual meetings both nationally and internationally, it was clear to us that ‘internationalization reinforces the tensions ← 2 | 3 → over the direction of curriculum studies through the attempt to develop a broader conversation’.

With this in mind, we decided to invite our colleagues to engage in a different debate over the ‘internationalization’ of curriculum studies; that is, as we have advanced in prior years, challenges to the emancipatory potential of a ‘pedagogical stance’ to curriculum studies has demanded that we examine how the field works with, through, and around these critiques. We challenge our peers

The field reacted in a very positive way to this call for papers and we had a great wave of outstanding papers, symposiums, and presentations. Bill Pinar cordially accepted our invitation to produce the keynote address, and in his address he discussed some of our concerns as well. One of the most heated sessions was undeniably the one simply titled, The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Task Force. The purpose of this symposium was to pay attention to non-Western, nonwhite voices in education and examine their contributions to the field. We invited scholars to do the following: (a) examine the work of a non-Western curriculum theory/theorist; (b) describe the background, major concepts, and contributions of the theorist/theory and link them with existing/previous theories; (c) describe the purpose for selecting a particular scholar; (d) explain the significance to the development of curriculum studies; and (e) explain the relevance to the internationalization of curriculum.

In this special symposium, Dinny Risri Aletheiani, from Arizona State University, presented the paper, Indonesian Curriculum Theorist: Ki Hajar Dewantara; Todd Price, (2012) from National Louis University, presented Las Etapas de la Educación y Revolución: Literacy, Communism and Democracy from Tao Xingzhi to Raúl Ferrer; Andrea Baldwin, from Northern Caribbean University, Jamaica, presented The Case of Jamaica’s Marcus Mosiah Garvey; and Seungho Moon, from Oklahoma State University, presented Tasan Chong Yag-yong: Practical Learning School in Korea & Neo-Confucianism. A subsequent version of these papers constitutes ← 3 | 4 → some of the chapters presented in this volume. In my response, I tried to articulate some of the avenues presented by my colleagues within the framework of Santos, discussing radical copresence. Chapter 1 of this volume reflects also a subsequent version of such response after so many interactions with peers. In my response, I draw heavily on Santos decolonial rationale of the ‘epistimicide’ and centered my discussion of the papers on what I called curriculum epistemicides; that is, both the works of the collective Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Task Force and the works of Raúl Ferrer (Cuba), Ki Hadjar Dewantara (Indonesia), Marcus Mosiah Garvey (Jamaica), and Tasan Chong Yag-yong (Korea) could be seen as part of a struggle against curriculum millenary espistemicides (Paraskeva, 2011, 2014 through the production of what I called itinerant curriculum theory (ICT; Paraskeva, 2011).

ICT, as I have argued, challenges the sociology of absences and how certain non-Western epistemologies have been rendered as nonexistent. I noted that such a theoretical position was not fostering what I called indeginestoude (Paraskeva, 2011). In fact, by assuming an itinerant posture of a deterritorialized thinking, bringing to the fore the works of Ferrer, Dewantara, Garvey, and Tasan, the 2012 AAACS panelists have worked in opposition to the mystification of indigenous cultures and knowledges (Paraskeva, 2011). Moreover, I claimed that some of these works need to be seen within what one might call southern epistemologies. ICT, as I argued elsewhere (Paraskeva, 2011, drawing on Santos, 2009), respects three fundamental pillars: (1) learning that the South exists, (2) learning to go to the South, and (3) learning from and with the South. In so doing, ICT is a commitment to an ecology of knowledges:

Such ecology of knowledge is a call against the modern Western thinking that is abyssal thinking (Santos, 2007). It is a system of visible and invisible distinctions, and the invisible sustain the visible. The invisible distinctions are established through radical lines that divide social reality into two distinctive realms: the universe from this side of the line and the universe of the other side of the line. The division is such that the other side of the line vanishes as reality, becomes nonexistent, and is simultaneously (re)produced as nonexistent. Everything that is produced as nonexistent is radically excluded, for it lies beyond the realm of the accepted conception of inclusion (Paraskeva, 2011).

Since the day we met to present and discuss our papers in New Orleans, Andrea Baldwin, Dinny Risri Aletheiani, Seungho Moon, Todd Price, and I have been engaged in a very insightful dialogue, exchanging drafts of papers, making comments, and participating in exciting crucial critiques. In the ninth volume of the Journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies (JAAACS, 2012), we began our new International Literature Section by publishing Seungho Moon’s paper. The seed was planted, and in subsequent AAACS annual meetings, TICS always organized a symposium. It is in this context that we welcome the contribution of Kaoru Miyazawa with her piece, In the Third Moment in Curriculum Studies: A Dialogue Between ‘Seikatsu Tsuzurikata’ and Critical Pedagogy. In the same context, I encouraged Ukranian scholar Oksana Jackim to engage in the examination and translation of some key pieces from Anton Makarenko that were never translated in the West. Jackim’s Anton Semyonovich Makarenko: A Few Western Myths Debunked fits rather well in the TICS project of opening up the curriculum canon of knowledge.

The chapters that you see now are a result of a long itinerant, deterritorialized, decolonial walk, a mirror of a complex dialogue among many of us. With this project—quite embryonic still—we hope to address many of the important questions that have been raised regarding ‘internationalization’. The members of the AAACS Internationalization Task Force hope those of you within the organization also see this humble work as a step forward in the struggle against curriculum epistemicides, which is, as I have the opportunity to examine elsewhere (Paraskeva, 2014; 2016) a curriculum turn. To walk with Santos (2007), it is a struggle for social and cognitive justice, an attempt quite clear in this volume.

In Chapter 2, Beyond Abyssal Thinking: From Global Lines to Ecologies of Knowledges, Boaventura de Sousa Santos explores the production of knowledge in modernity and conceptualizes the abyssal line. The visibility of dominant Western knowledge manifests through the invisibility of other knowledges. As ← 5 | 6 → Santos argues, truth becomes a monocular view that science legitimizes while dismissing other ways of knowing. This cartography of knowledge, Santos claims, is part of the colonial matrix in which there is the constant rise of the paradigm of appropriation/violence inside the paradigm of regulation/emancipation. Subaltern cosmopolitanism can help resist these dominant epistemologies. This theorization extends to the concepts of radical copresence, ecology of knowledges, and postabyssal thinking.

Chapter 3 examines modernity as an exhausted philosophy of praxis, as the engine of the epistimicide. The chapter also examines how Western modern thinking has been an abyssal thinking and how curriculum is deeply implicated in such abyssal posture. Heavily influenced by Santos approach, the chapter argues for a nonabyssal thinking curriculum, one that leads the struggle for a radical copresence. Assuming this position is to assume an itinerant curriculum theoretical approach as well, one that champions ways of decolonizing anticolonial massive rationales such as Marxism and denounces the eugenic subtle intentions underpinning internationalization. The chapter aligns itinerant curriculum theory as ‘a general epistemology of the impossibility of a general epistemology’, a call put forward by Santos.

In Chapter 4, Las Etapas de la Educación y Revolución: Literacy, Communism, and Democracy from Raúl Ferrer to Tao Xingzhi, Todd Price examines the importance of the work developed by intellectuals such as Raúl Ferrer and Tao Xingzhi, from Cuba and China, respectively. Price highlights how the work of such intellectuals really promotes change and its connections with the work of Paulo Freire. Seungho Moon, in Chapter 5, Tasanhak, Korean Neo-Confucianism, and Curriculum Studies: Complicating Conversations in Human Nature, Knowledge, and Justice, introduces Tasanhak (Tasan Studies) to complicate conversations in curriculum studies drawing from the 19th-century Korean philosopher, Tasan Chong Yag-yong (1762–1836). Tasanhak involves comprehensive investigations of Chong Yag-yong’s philosophy in a broad scope of inquiry across the humanities, arts, science, and education. Moon argues that, drawing from the theory of human nature as predilections (性嗜好說), Tasan theorized human nature not as predetermined by the guiding principles of human nature, morality, and truth, but open-ended as predilections. By examining analogies and metaphors in Tasan’s work, Moon suggests reviewing current curriculum issues (e.g., school reform) by challenging the assumptions educators and decision makers take for granted about human nature, knowledge, and justice.

In Chapter 6, The Internationalization of Curriculum Studies: The Case of Jamaica’s Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Andrea Baldwin (2012) examines the importance of the work of Marcus Mosiah Garvey in Jamaica’s pursuit for the restoration of wholesome values and attitudes within the education system and society as part of a global thrust for civility, respect, and value for life. As she argues, Garvey’s ← 6 | 7 → intellectuality was crucial in the struggle for a more just and democratic society. Dinny Aletheiani (2012), in her Indonesian Curriculum Theorist: Ki Hadjar Dewantara, in Chapter 7, presents a comprehensive introduction to and translation of excerpts of some of the educational curriculum work by the prominent Indonesian curriculum theorist, Ki Hadjar Dewantara (May 2, 1889–April 26, 1959). In Chapter 8, In the Third Moment in Curriculum Studies: A Dialogue Between Seikatsu Tsuzurikata and Critical Pedagogy, Kaoru Miyazawa attempts to establish a conversation or avenues for a powerful conversation between Western and non-Western epistemological terrains. In doing so, Miyazawa blends two theoretical approaches: one from Japan and known as Seikatsu Tsuzurikata, a grassroots literacy movement that originated in the early 20th century; another, from Brazil, Paulo Freire’s critical pedagogy. Miyazawa focuses not just on purposes and methods of such ways of leaving but also dissects the asymmetrical relationship between Seikatsu Tsuzurikata and Freirean pedagogy in the international discourse of critical pedagogy, suggesting a new hybrid framework.

Biographical notes

João M. Paraskeva (Volume editor)

João M. Paraskeva is Full Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, where he is founder and Chair of the Department of Educational Leadership and Program Director of the EdD/PhD in educational leadership and policy, and is also Director for the Center for Portuguese Studies and Culture. His latest books are The Curriculum: A New Comprehensive Reader (co-edited with Shirley Steinberg, forthcoming), Transformative Educators and Researchers for Democracy: Dartmouth Dialogues (co-edited with Thad LaVallee, 2015), International Critical Pedagogy Reader (co-edited with Antonia Darder and Peter Mayo, 2015), and Conflicts in Curriculum Theory: Challenging Hegemonic Epistemologies: Education, Politics and Public Life (2011/2014).


Title: The Curriculum