Curricula and curricular analysis: Some pointers for a debate

Article de revue


État de publication: Publiée (2013 ,7 Décembre )

Nom de la revue: PROSPECTS

Volume: 43

Numéro: 4

Intervalle de pages: 397-417

ISBN: 0033-1538, 1573-9090


Résumé: This introduction to our guest-edited issue provides a framework for reflecting on curricula, based on the four still fundamental questions raised by Tyler (Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1949) about effective ways to organize educational experiences that can meet the school’s educational purpose. The authors begin by decoding the Franco-European and Anglo-Saxon/North American approaches to the concept of curriculum, and seek points where the two are comple- mentary. Using Tyler’s four questions, they then clarify the concept in a conceptual out- line, organize it into a rational model, and seek a reference framework that can offer pointers for a debate on curriculum. They then show that, because a curriculum necessarily originates in a specific society, some of that society’s irrationality affects the nature of the curriculum. Thus, any curriculum experiences a tension between the rationality of the models that define it in theoretical terms and the irrationality of its surrounding society— which has the power to regulate it. Therefore, tools for curriculum analysis must consider all these dimensions, contradictions, and tensions to achieve a truly systemic perspective. While a system model is important for evaluation, it is also important to understand the less rational aspects and to place them in dialogue with their models. In this respect, providing pointers for the debate on curriculum remains a perilous exercise. Finally, the authors reflect on a systemic and holistic approach to the curriculum, and suggest pointers for contemporary reflection on curriculum.

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