[SWF]http://brueckei.org/jsb_content/currere_engage/pinar.swf, 440, 260[/SWF]

Full Screen Version of Learning Object

This semester I’m enrolled in an independent study with Dr. Lisa Lenhart and Dr. Jennifer Milam from the University of Akron. The course is Introduction to Curriculum Theory, one which isn’t currently offered as a part of the College of Education’s Curriculum and Instruction doctoral program. The main text we are using to guide our discussion of curriculum theory is William F. Pinar‘s 2004 work, “What is Curriculum Theory?” From the course syllabus:

Curriculum theory is, then, about discovering and articulating, for oneself and with others, the educational significance of the school subjects for self and society in the ever-changing historical moment. As a consequence, curriculum theory rejects the current “business-minded” school reform, with its emphasis on test scores on standardized examinations, academic analogues to “the bottom line” (i.e., “profit”). It rejects the miseducation of the American public” (Pinar, 2004, p. 16).

As I’ve been working my way through the text, one of the concepts I’m trying to understand more deeply is the significance of the re-conceptualization of curriculum studies. After reading the first few chapters, it’s quite clear that Pinar has some issues with the historical context of curriculum theory. In fact, he is very intent on voicing his opinion regarding the complexities and contradictions of curriculum theory and practice as most educators know it.

To this end, Pinar contributes is his own theoretical construct and method called currere. His method of currere foregrounds the relationship between narrative (life history) and practice and provides opportunities to theorize particular moments in one’s educational history, to dialogue with these moments, and examine possibilities for change.

As I began to try to make meaning of Pinar’s currere in preparation for a Monday luncheon with Dr. Lenhart and Dr. Milam, I came to the conclusion that I might be better served if I designed some sort of simple graphic organizer that would help me explain currere. It was a good thought, but keeping it simple proved to be a pretty challenging task. What started as a simple sketch in my notebook grew over the course of the past three days until I put the finishing touches on a Flash-based learning object I authored using Articulate Engage late this evening.

Please take a moment to view my learning object and feel free to leave me feedback concerning instructional design, content or overall user experience in the comments section of this post. I know the embedded version in this post is rather small, but go ahead and use the full screen link to view in a more friendly atmosphere. Any thoughts, ideas (or praise:) would be greatly appreciated, as I’m still not convinced this multimedia piece is production ready for use in an online course. Thanks!