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A Post-constructivist Perspective


Wolff-Michael Roth

Curriculum*-in-the-Making theorizes about the living curriculum as an event that is in the making, for the enacted curriculum is something finished, which, only as an object, can be compared to another object. A living curriculum, understood as an event*-in-the-making, leads to a very different appreciation of just what is happening in a classroom. Events* are understood to be in the making so we cannot know the precise nature of what we witness until after completion has been achieved. This book uses lesson fragments to develop a post-constructivist perspective on curriculum that is grounded in a phenomenological approach concerned with understanding the never-ending movement of life. This leads to radically different forms of understanding of curriculum issues such as the subject, ethics, the role of passibility and passivity, the nature of the response, and the learning paradox.
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Chapter 5. Subject*-in-the-Making


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If I am myself a finalized Being and if the event is a finalized thing, I cannot live or act: To live, I have to be unfinalized, open to/for myself – at least that which makes the essential fact of my life – I have to be for myself a value still to come, I must not coincide with my own actuality. (Bakhtine, 1984, p. 35)

The Thou … appears simultaneously as acting and as being acted upon – not, however, linked to a chain of causes, but in its relation of mutual action with the I, as the beginning and the end of the event. (Buber, 1937, p. 30, original emphasis)

In constructivist thinking, the subject relates to the world by means of the ensemble of its mental structures, the viability of which is continually updated to account for past experiences in anticipation of future, more appropriate (beneficial) relations in and with the world. Grounded in the Kantian analysis of cognition, constructivist approaches presuppose the presence of the world in terms of the categories (i.e., “constructions”) of the mind. But we have seen in the preceding chapters that we cannot account for our participation in the once-occurrent event*-in-the-making through the lens of theoretical consciousness. Through the living event, the Other, Buber’s Thou, is not linked to chains of causes but appears as a condensation, at the beginning and end of the event*-in-the-making. Rather, we need to think of our participation...

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