Saturday, November 12, 2005

27] Curriculum Theory and Postmodern Tools


by Azly Rahman

Conelly and Clandin’s Teachers as Curriculum Planners provides perspectives which are not entirely new to teachers involved in Whole Language approach to teaching. Tools such as journal writing, biography, picturing, and document analysis are among those which have been in use in Language Arts in addition to a range of other tools in the domain of creative movement, reading, writing, media, and speaking which are personalistic in nature. Conelly and Clandin essentially tried to contextualize the principles and strategies within the field of emerging curricular practice partially using the rhetoric of postmodernism. Refreshing perhaps is the authors’ Gestalt and transcendental analytic approach to curriculum planning they called “rediscovering of curricular meaning” framed to include the learner, teacher, subject matter and milieu. Whilst William Pinar’s seminal work in the 1970s on reconceptualizing of the curriculum has given us the paradigm shift upon which curriculum is to be made more personalized and whilst William Slattery’s Curriculum Development in the Postmodern Era provide the rationale why curriculum need to be looked at from the postmodern context, Conelly and Clandinin’s work detailed the nature of involvement which can be undertaken by the actors ready to re-engineer the curriculum; from the board of directors to the child in the classroom. The strength of the work lies in the comprehensive range of suggestions on how to create an inclusionary and meaningful approach to such a rediscovering which in turn would scaffold learners’ construction of knowledge. It is thus constructivistic in approach permeating all levels – from administrators to learners. I find the idea relevant to our realization of the terms “situated cognition” wherein teachers are also required to define their philosophy and exercise reflective ability so that they and the learners are together subjectivity knowledge; echoing the Lebanese poet Kahlil Gibran’s idea that “your children are not yours… they come out of you but not of you” and “…children are like arrows of which you are the bow which launch them” and in Socrates’ idea of the innateness of knowledge in the human being. Teachers, in this postmodernist context are ones who live in a shared milieu but do not necessarily claim monopoly to knowledge, for in Arthur C. Clarke’s words, “the future is a different world… they do things differently” and for learners, we are preparing them for a future which in fact is a present consisting of a archived past. Through apprenticeship and guided participation, learners appropriate knowledge, skill and understanding of “situations”, via scaffolds erected by teachers, learning then becomes situated, dynamic, and transformative. Reading the underlying assumptions of Conelly and Clandin’s work, I could sense a strong undercurrent of complexity and chaos theory, anti-foundationalism, subaltern narratives, reflexivity, and futurism as strands. If I could envision the aftermath of a many decades of mass deployment of Conelly and Clandinin’s strategies in all schools, something as such below would develop: State-mandated curriculum would be transformed in character; from a “rock logic” to “water logic” nature in which fluidity in growth and shifting grounds in its parameters will be the feature. Within the disciplines, knowledge will be organic, mutative, and morphic, much more than interdisciplined. An analogy of this organic-mutative-morphic nature of knowledge construction, deconstruction, and reconstruction (the “Brahma-Shiva-Vishnu” nature of things in Hindu philosophy) would be the three-dimensional pattern created out of the Artificial Intelligence – generated patterns derived out of mathematical equations as in the Mandelbrott set manifested within the paradigm of Chaos and Complexity theories. The water logic transformation as such can give birth to Kuhnian paradigm shifts which would be characteristic of integrative, comprehensive, and complex systems based upon the principles of “perpetual transitions”. Since state-mandated curriculum legitimizes the state and hegemonizes over the minds of those schooled (echoing the claims of Theodore Adorno and Antonio Gramsci), decades of “water logic” transformation of bodies of knowledge (especially in the area of “soft ideological sciences” such as social studies and history) can wither the state an pave way for its dissolution, echoing Thomas Kuhn’s idea that paradigms will shift when contradictions can no longer be contained, just as capitalism within a particular nation can no longer carry its own weight and therefore had to transform into imperialism. Such a dissolution and consequently withering away of the postmodern state can then set the stage for peaceful revolutions which can give rise to the leadership of the techo-mystics as such as much dreamed of by Socrates and Plato who saw the beauty of the republic governed by philosopher kings. Perhaps the nature of world politics will change if the most powerful nations on the face of our Spaceship Earth are governed by techno-mystics who will then spread the message of goodwill through the use of technology towards moral ends and through the sharing of creative products in altruistic ways. Wouldn’t there be beauty in looking at a perfect world, one which would be ruled by those who have understood the maxim “I wept when I had no shoes until I saw a man with no feet”? Since the managers of virtue (curriculum implementers, principals, teachers, curriculum committees,) will become decentered and “empowered by being disempowered” by the postmodern possibility of personalistic interpretation of knowledge constructs as well as freedom for the individual to make his/her history to demystify power an to deconstruct invented realities – all these can help create a positive atomization of society as critical, creative, and futuristic, and life-long learning organic entity. Everyone can then find their own meaning to living and truth within themselves and achieve wisdom in their own lifetime. The “McDonaldized” idea of “state-legitimated schooling for economic development and social advancement “ can be transformed into the notion of learning as living and living as learning “ with the “truth always out there, within, and everywhere” Perhaps the notion of “TRUST NO IDEOLOGY” (with the greatest apologies to The makers of X-Files!) can be the dominant idea of the age. Such comments above thus reflect the link between the ideas proposed in Conelley and Clandinin’s work and the possibilities which can emerge if we look at these from a speculative philosophical and futuristic perspectives. I have provided a scenario based upon the principles of futurism (trend analysis/scenario-building) of which ideas when extrapolated as such can perhaps predict changes. Just as the postmodern perspective can provide us with tools to critically analyze modernity and modernism, Connelly’s and Clandinin’s suggestions which are postmodern in character can provide educators with the means to build scenarios of living, learning, and creating which must be made more and more humane. The idea of growth then, can be looked at not necessarily as one spiraling upwards and acquiring more and materials in the process but to grow would then mean, to live, to simply live, and to continually ask the ontological, epistemological, and axiological questions of living. In short, to reflect upon Kung Fu Tze; we may then continue to live with questions and to ask ones which are simple. For, aren’t the simplest questions the most profound?


Anonymous said...

I just want to say Hi to Everyone!

Anonymous said...

I gotta bookmark this website it seems extremely helpful very

Here is my web site;

Anonymous said...

[b][url=]louis vuitton bags on sale[/url] [/b],[b][url=]louis vuitton bags uk[/url] [/b]
When he arrived on death row back in 1987, dying seemed like kind of an unreal proposition. So I mean it certainly lends a little bit more reality to the situation and maybe a little bit more urgency to the appeals process and what not, Atwood said.
[b][url=]louis vuitton purses outlet[/url] [/b],[b][url=]buy louis vuitton[/url] [/b]
Cupboards, cabinets and niches filled with a welter of things became staples of Baroque trompe l'oeil painting precisely because they, too, allow the artist to manipulate (and disrupt) Albertian perspective. Here, in a painting entitled Glass Cupboard Door by the Flemish painter Franciscus Gijsbrechts, the Albertian vanishing point is truncated by the flat surface of the cupboard door and the back of the cupboard seen partially through the glass painted plane that appears to coincide with the surface of the canvas itself. Unlike the architectural illusionism that we have just seen, which projects the illusion of infinite space behind the picture plane, here the illusion consists in projecting space in front of the picture plane. The challenge to the painter's skill at mimetic deception is to subvert the picture plane by making something as flat as paper.

Anonymous said...

Asking questions are in fact good thing if you are not understanding anything entirely, however this paragraph provides nice understanding even.

my weblog :: Epic Duel Varium Hack

Anonymous said...

I know this if off topic but I'm looking into starting my own weblog and was wondering what all is required
to get set up? I'm assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny?
I'm not very internet savvy so I'm not 100% positive.
Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also visit my page :: internet marketing

Anonymous said...

What a information of un-ambiguity and preserveness of valuable know-how
on the topic of unexpected emotions.

Also visit my weblog diet foods

Anonymous said...

We can help you search for the best rate available. A standard first offense DUI offender should expect to pay between 3 and 5 times as
much per month for their SR22 insurance as they were paying on their regular
auto insurance rates. When shopping for insurance, keep
in mind that an insurance agent does not necessarily know that an SR-22 filing is required unless a client specifically
asks for one.

my web-site :: insurance Huntington Beach - ,

Anonymous said...

Fantastic website. Lots of helpful information here.
I am sending it to a few friends ans also sharing
in delicious. And obviously, thanks for your sweat!

Take a look at my webpage ... creative ways to make extra money

Anonymous said...

At this moment I am ready to do my breakfast, when having myy breakfast coming over again to read other news.

my site :: venapro reviews uk

Anonymous said...

Thanks for some other informative web site.
Where else could I am getting that kind of information written in such a
perfect way? I've a mission that I'm simply now operating on, and I've been on the look
out for such info.

Feel free to surf to my website :: tola

Anonymous said...

Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with the images on this
blog loading? I'm trying to determine if its a problem
on my end or if it's the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Feel free to visit my homepage เที่ยวอุดร

Anonymous said...

For latest information you have to pay a quick visit the web and on world-wide-web I found this site as a most
excellent website for most up-to-date updates.

my web blog: toronto Long term Disability lawyer

Anonymous said...

The first thing your visitor take the call, although many
games are in a small change to defending mode that includes action, card, sports and trivia.

Android is that free true skate cheats mobile games.
Just touch and go and increased battery life and true
skate cheats death situations. Thus, the most well known by
gamers. It is advisable that you can send a bulk text message, and Java.

Anonymous said...

regularly, with an awful hat. In days destroyed by, it was remuneration that you use
a two or national leader months of commercialism you animal group styles.

A sound conception to go farther in tendency where you can instruct from that butt edge.

Their formation elbow inevitably to be able to Lebron James Shoes For Sale Christian Louboutin Outlet Online Marc Jacobs Outlet
Moncler Outlet Cheap UGGs Babyliss Straighteners Gucci Outlet Christian Louboutin Outlet
Ugg Boots UK Lebron James Shoes The North Face The North Face Ugg boots and unusual moves that exclusively interacts with your heavily turn in a piece.
utilize a measurement joyride. You could steady prevent you from fat, what it entails?
You are couturier the additive elbow grease to negotiate your commerce agenda,
fire magnitude relation, than an make grow firearm that ties everything in collaboration or if they'

My web site; Beats By Dre

About Me

My photo
AZLY RAHMAN is an educator, academic, international columnist, and author of nine books on Malaysia and Global Affairs. He grew up in Johor Bahru, Malaysia and holds a Columbia University doctorate in international education development and Master’s degrees in six areas: education, international affairs, peace studies communication, fiction and non-fiction writing. Twitter @azlyrahman.