Volume 1- Concepts and Theoretical Frameworks
Chapter 5. Political Curriculum Concepts
· 5 · pOLiTiCAL CurriCuLum CONCEpTS Introduction Curriculum scholars study politics in a variety of ways. The aim of this chapter is to examine in broad strokes what it is that curriculum scholars are currently discussing in the context of politics. Such topics include the problematics of neoliberalism and the way in which neoliberalism has affected schooling practices as well as neoconservatism and the battles over whose knowledge is of most worth. Neoliberalism and neoconservatism are right-wing agendas that many curriculum studies scholars try to untangle so as to undo. Many argue that schools need to become places of democracy, but neoliberalism and neoconservatism do not lend themselves to democratic practices. Some cur- riculum scholars approach these problematics through poststructural politics mostly using the works of Michel Foucault and Jacques Derrida. Others turn to critical theory to unpack the problematics of neoliberalism and the way that neoliberal policies have made schools undemocratic places. I will exam- ine current curriculum debates around issues of fascism, authoritarianism and militarism in their relations to neoliberal politics. Toward the end of the chap- ter I explore the politics of postformalism, the problems of school shootings, 246 curriculum studies guidebooks and what I call the politics of emotion. Throughout the chapter I will be dis- cussing the problems of standardized testing (No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top). Neoliberalism Here I introduce students to curriculum scholars who define neoliberalism and the problematics of neoliberalism in the context of schooling. Michael Peters (2009) states Neoliberalism in...
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