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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 6. Relation*-in-the-Making


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The life of dialogue is not limited to men’s traffic with one another; it is, it has shown itself to be, a relation of men to one another that is only represented in their traffic. (Buber, 1947/2002, p. 9)

In the preceding chapters, we observe teachers and their students in dialogical relations. In the epigraph to this chapter, Buber explicitly links the life of dialogue and the dynamic nature of the relation*-in-the-making, observable as “traffic.” Dialogue is not something that is dead, fixed, with specific content but is understood as a reflection of living life itself. The image of the relation is traffic, the very concept of people moving. A common way to think about teaching and learning has come to be the zone of proximal development, which has been defined as “the distance between the actual developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more capable peers” (Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86, original emphasis). Unfortunately, following a simplified reading of its original definition and primary sense in the quote that opens this text, the concept tends to be thought of in terms of the opposition of individuals. One of these individuals, a teacher or peer, is more capable than another individual, the learner. Somehow they engage on an “inter-mental” or “inter-psychological” plane from where the learner constructs knowledge from him-/herself ← 121 | 122...

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