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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.

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