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Curriculum*-in-the-Making

A Post-constructivist Perspective

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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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Preface

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Everything requires change and rebirth. Everything is shown in a moment of unfinalized transition.…And in fact polyphony itself, as the event of interaction between autonomous and internally unfinalized consciousnesses, demands a different artistic conception of time and space; to use Dostoevsky’s own expression, a “non-Euclidean” conception. (Bakhtin, 1984, pp. 167, 176)

In education, the practice of writing curriculum plans that are subsequently to be realized in the classroom continues to be everyday common practice around the world. Evaluators of pre-service and in-service teachers alike assess the difference between the curriculum as planned (planned curriculum) and what actually happened in the classroom (enacted curriculum). This, however, does not take into account the gulf between plans and situated actions, a gulf for which there is no remedy even when someone enacts his/her own plans. More importantly, this approach does not theorize the curriculum as living, for the “enacted curriculum” is something finished, which, only as object, can be compared to another object. But a living curriculum, understood as an event*-in-the-making – where the asterisk marks that the participants do not know what they witness (e.g., a successful lesson, teacher learning, an altercation or a relation that leads to learning, etc.) – leads to a very different appreciation of just what is happening in a classroom. ← vii | viii →

In this book, I use concrete lesson fragments and other materials to develop a post-constructivist perspective on curriculum that is grounded in a phenomenological approach concerned with understanding the...

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