Decanonizing the Field
Edited By João M. Paraskeva and Shirley R. Steinberg
Chapter 17. Canons as Neocolonial Projects of Understanding
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CANONS AS NEOCOLONIAL PROJECTS OF UNDERSTANDING
Susan Jean Mayer
This chapter considers canons as a form of remembering and reconstruction of the American colonial and neocolonial heritage. Throughout the Americas, European perspectives and theoretical constructs continue to exert a disproportionate influence within the world of educational theory, contributing in insidious ways to the ongoing oppression of people of color, particularly indigenous peoples and those of African descent. Yet these perspectives constitute a past and present that must be seen and theorized in relation to future aims. In proposing the canon project within the theoretical context of the American Association for the Advancement of Curriculum Studies, William Pinar sought to galvanize scholarly engagement with a fraught intellectual history that has both crushed and inspired movements toward human liberation and dignity across the Americas since the earliest days of European contact.
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