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Decanonizing the Field


Edited By João M. Paraskeva and Shirley R. Steinberg

Curriculum: Decanonizing the Field is a fresh and innovative collection that is concerned with the totalitarian Western Eurocentric cult that has dominated the field of curriculum studies. Contributors to this volume challenge dominant and counter-dominant curriculum positions of the Western Eurocentric epistemic platform. At a time when the field laudably claims internationalization as a must, arguments presented in this volume prove that this «internationalization» is nothing more than the new Western expansionism, one that dominates all other cultures, economies and knowledges. Curriculum: Decanonizing the Field is a clarion call against curriculum epistemicides, proposing the use of Itinerant Curriculum Theory (ICT), which opens up the canon of knowledge; challenges and destroys the coloniality of power, knowledge and being; and transforms the very idea and practice of power. The volume is essential reading for anyone involved in one of the most important battles for curriculum relevance – the fact that there is no social justice without cognitive justice.


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Part II: The political and the power of the personal


part ii the political and the power of the personal · 8 · dialectics and the development of curriculum theory Henry A. Giroux One of the major tasks of the curriculum field is to demonstrate in consistent fashion the process of self-criticism and self-renewal. Unfortunately, such a task is more easily stated than accomplished. Yet, while the reasons for the loss of this critical capacity are varied and complex, the underlying source for the atrophy of self-reflection in the curriculum field may be traced to a general failure, particularly among members of the dominant tradition, to understand how the interface of ideology, dominant institutional interests, and curricu- lum theory contribute to the latter’s incomplete development. Walter Benjamin provided one clue when he wrote, “In every era the attempt must be made to wrest tradition away from a conformism that is about to overpower it.”1 What this implies is that no field of inquiry, including the curriculum field, is immune from the self-complacency that threatens it once the field gains status as an “acceptable” mode of discourse and inquiry. Thus, the institutionalization of the curriculum field points to the need to develop a mode of analysis that educates its members to the language and logic of its own political and ideological center of gravity. What this means is that if the curriculum field is going to resist the conformity that threatens to overtake it, its members will have to reassess its possibilities for critique and growth against the influence and mediations of...

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