Discourses (lexicon)

For a new article here on Curricublog, “Why I don’t believe in “THE THEORY OF EVOLUTION,” I will need to use the word Discourse in a sense that’s understood in my field (Curriculum Studies) and in other fields of the social sciences and humanities — but a sense that is not so common in general American English usage.

The discovery and analysis of discourses became a key focus of my 1991 book Constitution and Curriculum: Hermeneutical Semiotics of Cases & Controversies in Education, Law, & Social Science (now out of print). A more developed concept of Discourses is now central in my teaching and my writing on curriculum. Scholars in a wide range of disciplines continue developing formulations of the basic concept, but many of us (including me) draw heavily from the work of Jim Gee, who gave us this formulation in his 1990 Social Linguistics and Literacies: Ideology in Discourses, Critical Perspectives on Literacy and Education: Jim Gee on Discourses (500K pdf).

Serious work in Curriculum Theory often requires using familiar words in special senses, and sometime coining special terminology. This blog has a category called “lexicon,” for posts providing explanations for such special usages (in this case, the explanation is in the linked pages by Jim Gee — although more could be added later with respect to Discourses and curriculum, more particularly).


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