Return to 5th IAACS Triennial Conference – 05/2015

Keynote Speakers

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Vanessa de Oliviera Andreotti
Associate Professor,
Canada Research Chair in Race, Inequalities and Global Change
University of British Columbia

Imagining Education as an ‘Un-coercive Re-arrangement of Desires’

Drawing on Gayatri Spivak’s suggestion that education should be an ‘un-coercive re-arrangement of desires’, this presentation offers one interpretation of what that could mean in curriculum studies. Grounded on a discursive analysis of the allocation of desires within the historical phenomenon of modernity/coloniality, I explore the difficulties and possibilities opened by the idea of un-coercive pedagogical reallocations.

William Doll
Visiting Professor
University of British Columbia

Seeking a Method-beyond-Method

This paper begins with personal reflections on teaching “methods” courses. It then move on to a history of method, going back to the Sophists and culminating in the “methodization” movement of the 17th and 18th centuries. With a slight swerve – akin to Epicurius’ atoms falling not in a straight line, as Democratius believed, but rather swerving or bumping into one another – I move into reflections on the French sociologist and complexity theorist, Edgar Morin, and his sense of methodé. Here Morin searches for a new sense of method, one that goes well beyond the North American, simple concept of method and challenges us, as educators, to rethink our basic thoughts not only on curriculum and pedagogy but also on our concept of being human.

Dwayne Donald
Associate Professor
(Secondary Education)
University of Alberta

Curriculum, Citizenship, and Sacred Ecology: A Call for “Real People”

With this talk, Donald will explore the intimate linkages between curriculum thought, citizenship, and notions of human being-ness. Specific attention will be given to the main mythologies that have guided formal schooling and curriculum thought since the Enlightenment juxtaposed with Indigenous understandings of what it means to be a ‘real person.’ Focus will be given to the curricular promotion of market-informed notions of citizenship that are unsustainable and continually overlook Indigenous wisdom insights on sacred ecology, holism, and ethical relationality. The point will be made that curriculum thought and notions of human being-ness need to begin with acknowledging and honouring the more-than-human entities that give us life.

Lesley Le Grange
Distinguished Professor
(Environmental Education and Curriculum Studies)
Stellenbosch University

Currere’s Active Force and the Concept of Ubuntu

William Pinar avers that the internationalization of Curriculum Studies is about complicated conversations that occur across national boundaries. This paper opens up a conversation that draws on insights from North American scholars such as William Pinar, Ted Aoki, Jason Wallin and the African concept of ubuntu (humanness) in exploring the becoming of pedagogical lives in a post-humanist era. It is invokes the etymological root of curriculum, currere, which Pinar first introduced to the field more than 40 years ago and, which Wallin recently extends in his exploration of what he calls “currere’s active force”. The paper intends to conceptually weave together currere and ubuntu so as to open up ways of becoming that are more human without being humanist. It troubles approaches to curriculum underpinned by humanism that have been complicit in producing the environmental crisis, the global financial crisis, the holocaust, the Rwandan genocide, apartheid, and so on.

Elizabeth Macedo
Department of Teaching
and Learning
Rio de Janeiro State University

Intellectual Agency in the Internationalization of Curriculum Studies

In this paper, I will conceive internationalization as a liminal experience of translatability that creates incommensurable temporalities reenacting “national” and “academic” experiences, both understood as communitarian experiences. Instead of asking how boundaries among countries and academic disciplines are overlapped by the internationalization [or by trans-disciplinary approaches], I will work with the idea that they — and the national and academic identities associated to them — are effects of power of how the curriculum field has been politically represented. In other words, I will accept that curriculum communities have no essential meanings and are produced by intellectual agency operating in the making of the curriculum field. I will rely on data collected by William Pinar’s project “Curriculum Studies: Intellectual Histories, Present Circumstances”.

Janet L. Miller
(English and Education, Curriculum Studies)
Teachers College
Columbia University

Worldwide Curriculum Studies: Communities without Consensus

I grapple with questions of ethical engagement that frame my notion of worldwide curriculum studies as “communities without consensus.” In so doing, I gesture toward possible and yet always fluctuating, momentary confluences wherein participants might explore curriculum studies as those that address how profoundly affected by others’ lives we are. Heterogeneities and rapid fluxes now characterize global flows of peoples, languages, technologies, commodities, cultures, and capital through and across constantly changing borders, discourses, and subjectivities. Given embodied effects and affects of these, how might the worldwide field of curriculum studies imagine its iterations in light of local populations loosened — voluntarily or not — from their geographically constrained communities, for example? How might a conception of “communities without consensus” connect curriculum studies around the globe in complex ways that directly address ethical questions that involve difference, unknowingness, and the profundity of our relationality.

William Pinar
Canada Research Chair, Professor
(Curriculum Studies)
University of British Columbia

The Cosmopolitan Cause of Curriculum Studies

Globalization summarizes our present circumstances, the ruthless promotion of standardized assessment, technology, and through them curricular content. Reactions against globalization testify to the pervasiveness of its psychic and well as political penetration. In contrast to globalization, internationalization is a term I reserve for the cosmopolitan cause of curriculum studies, the articulation of difference through democratic dialogue among colleagues within and across national borders. Such dialogue requires clarification through questioning of and by colleagues located elsewhere, as concepts are understood first on their own terms, then recontextualized according to local circumstances. In this presentation I will document important instances of recontextualization through reference to exchanges over key contemporary concepts among curriculum scholars working in Brazil, Canada, China, India, Mexico, South Africa, and the United States.

Eero Ropo
Faculty of Education
University of Tampere

Curriculum for Identity: Enhancing Identity Negotiations in School Education

Curriculum is largely based on the political decisions of the type of know-how, and knowledge required by the life as a productive citizen in a future society. In educational practice, however, education is concerned with the individual growth of children and youngsters in the schools. 
I will discuss the concept of identity in relation to school education and curriculum. The main point is that taking individual, social and cultural identities as a basis for education requires changes in the current school curricula, pedagogical practices, conceptions of learning and assessment and evaluation of results. I will also describe some results from our research efforts in Finland to develop school education to enhance identity negotiations in school practice.

Paul Tarc
Assistant Professor
Faculty of Education
Western University

Fostering Cosmopolitan Literacies in Performative Times

In the expanding internationalization of education movement, there is heightened attention to the qualities and desired outcomes of intercultural encounters, experiences and lessons. However, conceptions of (cultural) difference, of development and of the learner tend toward the simplistic, the measurable and the determinable under pressures of performativity. For example, ‘intercultural competence’ frames the leaner as a self-enclosed knowledge-seeking subject who progressively moves from the ethnocentric to the ethno-relative along a determinable spectrum, itself set apart from (ethnocentric) culture. Even more ‘critical’ models often hold to too-simple correspondences between knowledge, awareness and transformation. ‘Cosmopolitan literacies’ represents a kind of intervention into this discursive space, offering a more complex conception of the limits and possibilities of learning across difference, the core curricular aim of international education. This presentation will introduce and discuss the lens of cosmopolitan literacies as well as how it may find traction in performative times.

Hongyu Wang
(Curriculum Studies)
Oklahoma State University

Nonviolence as a Daily Practice of Education

This presentation evokes nonviolence—the calling of our time—as a curriculum vision to re-think our daily educational work. Cultivating the integration of body and mind and promoting compassionate relationships, nonviolence should lie in the heart of today’s education. The following, intertwined, aspects of nonviolence education will be discussed: the definition of nonviolence in education; curriculum and pedagogy of nonviolence; the simultaneity of working from within and working with others; nonviolent international and cross-cultural engagement with difference. Advocating education about, for, and through nonviolence in the worldliness of curriculum studies, this presentation invites individual and collective efforts to enact the principle of nonviolence in daily practice to open up impossible possibilities.

Reta Ugena Whitlock
Associate Professor
(Curriculum & Instruction)
Interim Chair of the Department
of Educational Leadership
Kennesaw State University

Currere and Radical Love: Understanding Curriculum as Queer Theological Text

I have begun to consider Queer Theology as a framework for understand curriculum. Using works by queer theologians Patrick Cheng and Marcella Althaus-­‐Reid, I look for spaces where queer theory, theology, and curriculum theory converge. Queer theology pushes representational and methodological boundaries for educational research. “The problem of the schools,” Huebner contended, “is—the schools are not places where the moral and spiritual life is lived with any kind of intentionality” (1993, p.414-­‐415). If this sums up the unresolved moral and spiritual crisis in education (Purpel, 1988), then Queer Theology might allow us to trouble not only what we think we know about morality, spirituality, and religion in schools, but also what we think we know about education, curriculum, and schools themselves. This presentation moves beyond queer theological curriculum frameworks to begin grappling what a currere of radical love might look like.

Zhang Hua
Professor, Dean
Graduate School of
Educational Studies
Hangzhou Normal University

Toward Curriculum Wisdom

What is the aim, content, and methodology of curriculum studies? From Franklin Bobbitt to Ralph Tyler, the aim of curriculum studies is to control the process of curriculum development. The content is to seek the “laws” and “rules” of curriculum making. The methodology is scientism and proceduralism. The orientation can be called knowledge-based curriculum studies. From 1970s on, in representative of the Reconceptualization, the orientation of curriculum studies has been changed from “knowledge-basedness” to “wisdom-basedness”. Transforming knowledge into wisdom, integrating wisdom and morality, are two main themes of wisdom-based curriculum studies. The great Canadian curriculum scholar Ted Aoki made great contributions to curriculum wisdom. The wisdom traditions of China, especially Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism, are of potential to construct curriculum wisdom and meet the need of curriculum studies in a radically changeable society.