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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 9. Researching the Living Curriculum as Event*-in-the-Making


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Bakhtin … is seeking to get back to the naked immediacy of experience as it is felt from within the utmost particularity of a specific life, the molten lava of events as they happen. He seeks the sheer quality of happening in life before the magma of such experience cools, hardening into igneous theories, or accounts of what has happened. And just as lava differs from the rock it will become, so the two states of lived experience, on the one hand, and systems for registering such experience on the other, are fundamentally different from each other. (Holquist, 1993, p. x)

In this book, I offer up a new conceptualization of the living curriculum and the associated learning that occurs; in this, the book is a contribution to the effort of overcoming the problems that come with all metaphysical approaches – including all kinds of constructivism (e.g., Radford & Roth, 2011). I introduce to the curriculum discourse a way of talking/writing about classrooms that retain the very mobility of the event*-in-the-making, of what we live without ever being able to (fully) comprehend what is happening; and we do comprehend after the fact only because (a) the situation comprehended (comprised) us as witness (b) the event is no longer living and therefore holds steady to be prehended. This requires us to think the living curriculum as pure mobility but its comprehension in terms of process and outcome. Such...

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