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Curriculum as Spaces

Aesthetics, Community, and the Politics of Place


David M. Callejo Pérez, Donna Adair Breault and William White

This book has won the «O.L. Davis, Jr. Outstanding Book Award» 2015 from the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum (AATC)

Curriculum as Spaces: Aesthetics, Community, and the Politics of Place can be viewed as a holistic approach to education, conservation, and community development that uses place as an integrating context for learning. It argues that curriculum and place is a much deeper subject, with roots in aesthetics, community, and politics that go beyond the individual and profoundly address the formation of our current belief system.
Despite the unique efforts described in this book to address the curriculum of space, major issues persist in our educational system. First, the rigor of curriculum studies is not usually applied to this complex field that encompasses philosophy, aesthetics, geography, social theory, and history. Second, the conflict caused by studying the place without contextualizing it within the larger social milieu ignores the nuances of our intimately global social network. Third, current responses ignore the uncritical assessment of underrepresented groups within the theoretical landscape. With these problems in mind, Curriculum as Spaces introduces foundational principles that ask us to imagine the full realization of curriculum spaces and show us how to examine the philosophical and cultural roots of these most essential principles.


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Chapter 6: Curriculum as Transactional Aesthetic


· 6 · curriculum as transactional aesthetic The success of a revolution lies only in itself, precisely the vibrations, the embraces and the openings that it gave to human beings at the time of their happening and that make up a monument which is constantly evolving, like those tumuli to which each new visitor brings a stone. —gilles deleuze and félix guattari In bringing together rather than separating the diverse poles of philosophy and social sciences, critical theory sought to uncover the “circumstances that enslave” humans (Horkheimer, 1982, p. 244) while also creating practical approaches to the issues of the day. As Douglas Kellner (2003) noted, crit- ical theory built upon Hegelian notions of critique by “criticizing one-sided positions…and developing more complex dialectal perspectives” (p. 52). In his own work, Kellner sought to bring together multiple narratives in pursuit of overarching concepts that guide, inspire, and proliferate. As we consider education, we might well follow Kellner’s lead by appropriating his “meta- theoretical” concept on critical theory. Within this cover, we find room to link theory to practice in the everyday experiences of educators and students. Also, in applying a metatheoretical approach, we find ample opportunity to approach curriculum as a richly embossed text, as yet unfinished. Within this chapter, we hope to contribute to the unfolding curricular narrative with 84 curriculum as spaces specific emphasis given to the fundamental elements required for an aesthetic education. We hope to build on thoughts from the previous chapter that posi- tioned education as...

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