What is curriculum? — Some Observations by Maxine Greene

My first posts on this blog will address the threshold question: What is curriculum?

For a start, I can do no better than to recycle this quotation from Maxine Greene, which I have often used in both my teaching and my writing. I am sure that I will be referring back to Maxine’s observations in my future posting on this blog. As she observed in 1971:

“Curriculum, from the learner’s standpoint, ordinarily represents little more than an arrangement of subjects, a structure of socially prescribed knowledge, or a complex system of meanings which may or may not fall within his grasp. … Sartre says that ‘knowing is a moment of praxis,’ opening into ‘what has not yet been.’* Preoccupied with priorities, purposes, programs of ‘intended learning’* and intended (or unintended) manipulation, we pay too little attention to the individual in quest of his own future, bent on surpassing what is merely ‘given,’ on breaking through the everyday. We are still too prone to dichotomize: to think of ‘disciplines’ or ‘public traditions’ or ‘accumulated wisdom’ or ‘common culture’ (individualization despite) as objectively existent, external to the knower—there to be discovered, mastered, learned.” (Greene 1971: 253, original emphasis; *citation omitted)

Greene, M. (1971). Curriculum and Consciousness. Teachers College Record, 73(2), 253-270. 

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