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Curriculum Studies Guidebooks

Volume 1- Concepts and Theoretical Frameworks


Marla B. Morris

Curriculum Studies Guidebooks treat the (Post)reconceptualization of curriculum studies. The huge corpus of literature reviewed in this volume reflect current issues and discussions dealing with education. This volume is about the intersections among curriculum studies, history, politics, multiculturalism, gender studies and literary studies. These theoretical frameworks will provide students in the field of education with the tools that they need to theorize around the concept of curriculum. This is an interdisciplinary book and might be of interest to students outside the field of education as well who are studying history, politics, multiculturalism, gender and literary studies. It could be used in such courses as curriculum studies; social foundations of education; philosophy of education; critical and contemporary issues in education; the history of American curriculum; the history of American education; and narrative inquiry in education. Outside the field of education, this book might be of interest to students in courses on women's and gender studies, courses in political science, multicultural courses, and courses in literary criticism.
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Chapter 5. Political Curriculum Concepts


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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 curriculum 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 examine current curriculum debates around issues of fascism, authoritarianism and militarism in their relations to neoliberal politics. Toward the end of the chapter I explore the politics of postformalism, the problems of school shootings, ← 245 | 246 → and what I call the politics of emotion. Throughout the chapter I will be discussing the problems of standardized testing (No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top).

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