Curriculum Wisdom : Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy Used
Buy Used from BN.com
$33.41
(Save 39%)
Item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging.
Condition: Used – Good details
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $1.99
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 96%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (19) from $1.99   
  • New (6) from $54.96   
  • Used (13) from $1.99   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 19 (2 pages)
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$1.99
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(60428)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Very Good
Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. 100% Money Back Guarantee. Shipped to over one million happy customers. Your purchase benefits world literacy!

Ships from: Mishawaka, IN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(60428)

Condition: Acceptable
Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Experience the best customer care, fast shipping, and a 100% satisfaction guarantee on all ... orders. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Mishawaka, IN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2006

Feedback rating:

(60428)

Condition: Good
Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Find out why millions of customers rave about Better World Books. Experience the best customer care and a 100% ... satisfaction guarantee. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Mishawaka, IN

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(1831)

Condition: Good
2003 Paperback Good Books have varying amounts of wear and highlighting. Usually ships within 24 hours in quality packaging. Satisfaction guaranteed. This item may not include ... any CDs, Infotracs, Access cards or other supplementary material. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Lincoln, NE

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(25644)

Condition: Good
Giving great service since 2004: Buy from the Best! 4,000,000 items shipped to delighted customers. We have 1,000,000 unique items ready to ship! Find your Great Buy today!

Ships from: Toledo, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(23511)

Condition: Acceptable
Our feedback rating says it all: Five star service and fast delivery! We have shipped four million items to happy customers, and have one MILLION unique items ready to ship today!

Ships from: Toledo, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(18964)

Condition: Acceptable
Buy from the best: 4,000,000 items shipped to delighted customers. We have 1,000,000 unique items ready to ship today!

Ships from: Toledo, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$1.99
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(1227)

Condition: Acceptable
A used copy at a fantastic price. We ship daily via USPS. Buy with the best! BN

Ships from: Toledo, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$5.00
Seller since 2005

Feedback rating:

(49448)

Condition: Very Good
Ships same day or next business day via UPS (Priority Mail for AK/HI/APO/PO Boxes)! Used sticker and some writing and/or highlighting. Used books may not include working access ... code or dust jacket. Read more Show Less

Ships from: Columbia, MO

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$10.99
Seller since 2014

Feedback rating:

(56)

Condition: Good
Buy with Confidence. Excellent Customer Support. We ship from multiple US locations. No CD, DVD or Access Code Included.

Ships from: Fort Mill, SC

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Standard, 48 States
Page 1 of 2
Showing 1 – 10 of 19 (2 pages)
Close
Sort by

Overview

Written by two of the most-recognized names in the field, the heart of this book revolves around the seven “modes of inquiry” that serve as guiding principles for designing curriculum that meets the needs of students, educators, parents, and the community at large. Coverage carefully balances theory and practicality, draws inspiration from a wide range of disciplines and contexts, and incorporates the wisdom of practicing curriculum designers from this country and others. Chapter titles include Curriculum Wisdom in Democratic Societies, Pragmatism: A Philosophy for Democratic Educators, The Arts of Inquiry: Toward Holographic Thinking, Personal and Structural Challenges, and Implications for Educational Practice. For teachers and administrators responsible for designing and implementing curriculum.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Overall this text ...advances our notions of curriculum. It incorporates reflective thinking, higher order thinking, and widens the conversation to include international commentaries and examples for learners. I think this is a must-read for all in the field of curriculum." — Valerie J.Janesick, Ph.D., University of South Florida - Tampa

"...Curriculum Wisdom strikes me as a book that holds real promise to those educators who seek deeper understanding and wider kinship for the feelings, beliefs, and actions they currently find themselves struggling with ...(it) presents a more comprehensive (and complex) theoretical understanding of democratic curriculum leadership..." — J. Dan Marshall, Ph.D., Pennsylvania State University

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780131118195
  • Publisher: Pearson
  • Publication date: 10/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.44 (w) x 9.15 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Read an Excerpt

THREE WORKING ASSUMPTIONS

Three basic assumptions have guided the creation of this book. First, we believe that it is possible to approach curriculum work as an exercise in "practical wisdom:" As you will read in Chapter 1, human wisdom is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, especially in practical affairs:' Curriculum workers who adopt a wisdom orientation are, therefore, challenging themselves


  • To consider the "good conduct" and "enduring values" implications and consequences of their decisions;
  • To think about the relationship between educational means and ends; and
  • To engage in sophisticated practical reasoning.

Aristotle's philosophy is an important foundational source for understanding practical wisdom. He writes that the practically wise person is someone who can carefully deliberate over the concrete specifics of individual matters while keeping an eye on what is "the best for man of things attainable by action" (Aristotle, 1941, p. 1028). Aristotle continues, "Nor is practical wisdom concerned with universals only—it must also recognize particulars; for it is practical, and practice is concerned with particulars" (p. 1028). Practical wisdom requires a doubled problem solving. The intent is to solve an immediate problem while advancing enduring values. This is a "means/end" and "means/visionary end" way of operating. The problem solving is situated in both the immediate present and the visionary future. The search for the resolution of a particular problem is, at the same time, an aspiration to advance a critically informed moral vision. Sensitive perception and venturesome imagination are equally important. Though this is a very demanding professional standard for curriculum decision making, we think many educators are capable of working in this way.

Egan (2002) clarifies this standard for curriculum work. He notes that "it is always easier and more attractive to engage in technical work under an accepted paradigm than do hard thinking about the value-saturated idea of education" (p. 181). To avoid this trap, Egan writes, educators must think very broadly and deeply; they must make their conceptions of education "more elaborate and comprehensive" (p. 181), and as part of their decision making, they must carefully consider what "is the best way to be human, the best way to live" (p. 182). Approaching curriculum work in this way requires educators' best efforts to enact practical wisdom.

Second, we will approach curriculum wisdom from a love of wisdom perspective—the frame of reference that serves as the etymological source for philosophy. To love wisdom is not the same as assuming that one is wise. In fact, it is its humble opposite. To love wisdom is to practice an open-hearted and open-minded life of inquiry. Hadot (2002) presents a Western history of the practice of the love of wisdom from Socrates through Kant and Nietzsche to the present and describes Socrates' insight into this practice:

In the Apology Plato reconstructs, in his own way, the speech which Socrates gave before his judges in the trial in which he was condemned to death. Plato tells how Chaerephon, one of Socrates' friends, had asked the Delphic oracle if there was anyone wiser (sophos) than Socrates. The oracle had replied that no one was wiser than Socrates. Socrates wondered what the oracle could possibly have meant, and began a long search among politicians, poets, and artisans—people... who possessed wisdom or know-how—in order to find someone wiser than he. He noticed that all these people thought they knew everything, whereas in fact they knew nothing. Socrates then concluded that if in fact he was the wisest person, it was because he did not think he knew that which he did not know. What the oracle meant, therefore, was that the wisest human being was "he who knows that he is worth nothing as far as knowledge is concerned." This is precisely the Platonic definition of the philosopher in the dialogue entitled the Symposium: the philosopher knows nothing, but he is conscious of his ignorance. (pp. 24-25) (author's emphasis)

The love of wisdom is "a never-ending quest" (Hadot, 2002, p. 280), and we provide guidance for this disciplined way of working through the introduction of seven modes of inquiry. There is a phrase that captures the design of this book. In an essay on the critical foundations of pedagogy, Greene (1986) writes, "To do philosophy with respect to teaching ...is in part to stimulate reflections about the intentions in which teaching begins, the values that are espoused, the ends that are pursued" (p. 479). Greene envisions doing "philosophy with respect to teaching." This book alters this perspective in a subtle but important way. We envision doing curriculum in the spirit of philosophy.

To approach curriculum work in this spirit is very challenging, requiring "arts" that cannot be reduced to rules or procedures; we will consistently use the phrase arts of inquiry to refer to the practice of curriculum wisdom. Because Western insights into the love of wisdom trace back to ancient Greece, we will describe the seven modes of inquiry using both English and ancient Greek terminology. We do this to remind our readers that the arts of inquiry in this book, though applied to current, postmodern societies with democratic ideals, have a premodern heritage that traces back to Greece and other ancient civilizations.

This brings us to our third and final working assumption. We believe that an important, enduring focus for curriculum wisdom is the "democratic good life." When we use this phrase, we have in mind the exercise of responsible freedom in daily educational affairs. Our concern is with the quality of curriculum conduct, not with any particular form of government—though, of course, we don't want to deny the important relationship between curriculum and politics. This commits us to an interpretation of liberalism that is cogently summarized by Fleischacker (1999):

Most Americans are liberals ... as are, at least nominally, most people in democracies throughout the modern world. It has been plausibly argued that liberalism in the sense of a concern for liberty is the only appropriate mode of politics in the modern age. What marks modernity...is the loss of any substantial agreement about what constitutes the purpose of human life, and in that context it is essential that individuals have the liberty to explore that question, and pursue the answers they find on their own. (p. 3)

We believe educators should have the freedom or, more precisely, the professional liberty to responsibly pursue "democratically liberating" educational purposes. They do this by practicing an inquiry-based curriculum decision making focused on students' inquiry-based decision making; the seven inquiry modes in this book have been designed to encourage this teacher-student reciprocity.

Fleischacker provides philosophical and political insights into human freedom interpreted as responsible decision making, and these insights inform this curriculum text. Drawing on the work of Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant, he notes that a responsible decision requires a sophisticated judgment informed by a "free play of the faculties" (1999, p. 24). Human freedom is realized through the cultivation of this capacity for judgment:

It may sound unexciting to announce that one wants to make the world free for good judgment, but this quiet doctrine turns out to be the most sensible, most decent, and at the same time richest concept of liberty we can possibly find .... A world where everyone can develop and use their own judgment as much as possible is closer to what we really want out of freedom .... (p. 243)

This understanding of freedom is a middle way between the libertarian right, with its focus on governmental noninterference and private choice, and the egalitarian left, with its focus on multicultural inclusiveness and community solidarity (Fleischacker, 1999, p. 267). This middle ground draws on both the "negative" and "positive" conceptions of freedom, nicely summarized by Fleischacker (1999):

Berlin 1969 described two concepts of liberty: a negative one, by which I am free from constraint insofar as other people refrain from interfering with me, and a positive one, by which I am free to act insofar as I am included in the political units managing my environment. (p. 3) (author's emphasis)

Our focus is on the cultivation of responsible curriculum judgments centered on the facilitation of responsible student judgments. We believe that curriculum workers' professional freedom is bound up with students' personal freedom. Both educators and their students need to be included in informed curriculum decision making, but they should not be required to conform to any ideological script or agenda. Their inquiry capacities should be nurtured, without them being dictated to about how they should think. This delicate balancing act between active support and noninterference is the territory of "freedom" staked out by this book. We have created this book in a particular emancipatory, postideological spirit. Dewey (1963/1938) articulates this spirit: "The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and judgment exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worthwhile" (p. 61).

It is interesting to note that one of the defining characteristics of human wisdom—soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends—is clearly operative in our middle position. Inquiry-based judgment is both the "means" for deciding how to educate for democratic living and its "end in view:" The curricular means is integrally linked to the educational ends; or, in more colorful metaphorical terms, what is good for the goose (the curriculum worker) is also good for the gander (the student).

This understanding of the integrity between means and ends in education is, of course, a central principle in Dewey's writings. Doll (2002) notes that this principle is based on an "emergent," as distinct from an "externally imposed," sense of control (p. 39). Doll (2002) explains:

External ends were anathema to Dewey. He felt that dichotomously separating the ends in activity from the activity itself reduced the activity (and the one doing the activity) to a mere means. To counteract this, he argued that ends or "aims fall within an activity instead of being furnished from without" (Dewey 1966/1916, p. 101). In his famous phrase on this point, he says (1974/1923):

Ends arise and function within action. They are not as current theories too often imply, things lying beyond activity at which the latter is directed. They are not strictly speaking ends or termini of action at all. They are terminals of deliberation, and so turning points in activity. (p. 70) (author's emphasis)

Dewey calls these turning points in activity "ends-in-view." (p. 39)

The heart of this book is the practice of certain arts of curriculum inquiry, and this disciplined inquiry requires the internal, emergent orientation described by Dewey and Doll.

We can summarize our three working assumptions by describing a set of possible alternative titles for this text. If we had based our book only on the first assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Work as Practical Wisdom or, perhaps, Curriculum Work as Moral Deliberation or, more simply, Curriculum Deliberation. If we had based our book only on the second assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Work as a Love of Wisdom or, perhaps, The Arts of Curriculum Inquiry or, more simply, Curriculum Inquiry. If we had based our book only on the third assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Decision Making for Democratic Liberty or, perhaps, Curriculum Judgment for Student Freedom or, more simply, Curriculum Judgment.

Because we are working with all three assumptions, we have titled the book the way we have. Keep in mind, however, that when we use the title Curriculum Wisdom, we have in mind a Socratic love for pragmatic wisdom in curriculum affairs; and when we use the subtitle Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies, we have in mind the exercise of professional and student freedom through the cultivation of responsible, inquiry-based judgment.

THE DESIGN OF THE BOOK

The text's design carefully reflects our three working assumptions. Curriculum wisdom is enacted at the intersection of theory and practice, and this book reflects this balanced approach. Chapters 1 and 2 have a more theoretical flavor. Chapter 1 makes the case for the importance of curriculum wisdom as understood in this text. Because this chapter presents the rationale for the text, it has a more conceptual emphasis and draws on a wide range of literature for its support. Chapter 2 provides a brief overview of the history of American pragmatism, which is a philosophical tradition that provides a great deal of insight into curriculum wisdom. Because Chapter 2 focuses on philosophical foundations, it also taps into a broad body of literature.

Chapter 3 is the heart of the book and it is positioned between theory and practice. As mentioned above, it presents seven modes of inquiry that serve as a guide for the practice of curriculum wisdom. Each mode is carefully defined (through the use of theoretical literature) and then illustrated in one or more specific curricular contexts. The arts of practicing these seven modes of inquiry are depicted in a holographic image that serves as the organizing concept for the chapter. This strategy is used to stress the point that the seven inquiry modes are embedded in one another. "All is one and one is all" might serve as an appropriate motto for Chapter 3. Curriculum wisdom is a holistic challenge, and though the seven modes are presented separately to simplify explanation and illustration, they are deeply and playfully connected in practice. Chapter 4 discusses the kinds of personal and institutional obstacles that can inhibit, suppress, and/or overtly prohibit the practice of the arts of inquiry described in Chapter 3.

The practice of curriculum wisdom is explored in Chapters 5-9. Chapter 5 presents three perspectives on the enactment of curriculum wisdom: as a paradigm shift, as a disciplined way of living, and as systemic reform. In Chapter 6, a classroom teacher, a teacher educator, and a public school superintendent comment on these perspectives. The classroom teacher's commentary is the longest because it provides the most in-depth analysis. The other two commentaries are deliberately shorter owing to space limitations and to avoid unnecessary redundancies. The teacher educator's commentary has an additional feature in that it is based on two years of research into the challenges of teaching the arts of inquiry described in Chapter 3 to future teachers.

Chapters 7 and 8 present four practitioner narratives. The stories in Chapter 7 are teacher narratives because a kindergarten teacher and a college teacher wrote them. Two educational administrators, a director of professional development and an elementary school principal, wrote the stories in Chapter 8. The narratives in Chapters 7 and 8 are a little different than the commentaries in Chapter 6. The practitioners in Chapter 6 were asked to directly address the central concepts of this book, while the practitioners in Chapters 7 and 8 were asked only to keep the concepts in mind as they told their story. The Chapter 6 commentaries were written to clarify and illustrate, while the narratives in Chapters 7 and 8 were written to extend and elaborate.

Chapter 9 presents three international commentaries on the feasibility of practicing curriculum wisdom in three distinctive cultural contexts: Australia, sub-Saharan Africa, and India. These commentaries are quite different from the three practitioner commentaries in Chapter 6. The three international commentaries help bring the subtitle of this book, Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies, into better focus. Though this book is co-authored by two American curriculum workers, many countries in the world are self-identified democracies and are, presumably, concerned about educating for enduring democratic values. We want to acknowledge, honor, and encourage this global aspiration.

OUR TNTENDED AUDIENCE

We have in mind a general audience of curriculum workers composed of both university academics and practitioners in school and other educational settings. We envision these educators as open-minded professionals who are comfortable with an inquiring, postideological approach to curriculum decisions. We imagine them being "multitextual" in their orientation, as articulated by Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery, and Taubman (1995): "Curriculum is intensely historical, political, racial, gendered, phenomenological, autobiographical, aesthetic, theological, and international .... Curriculum is an extraordinarily complicated conversation" (pp. 847-848).

Given the audience we have in mind, we are careful to maintain a theory-practice balance; our topic (curriculum wisdom) requires such diligence. This is neither a theoretical book nor a practical book. It is both. If it had been one or the other, it would have been written differently. We therefore envision an audience that is concerned about the integration of theory and practice in the curriculum field.

This is certainly a curriculum theory book in the spirit of Walker's (2003) definition:

Curriculum theories ...are about ideals, values, and priorities. They employ reason and evidence, but in the service of passion. Curriculum theories can be analytical as well as partisan, but unlike scientific theories, they are not curriculum theories unless they are about ideals. Curriculum theories make ideals explicit, clarify them, work out their consequences for curriculum practice, compare them to other ideals, and justify or criticize them. (p. 60)

In this book we advance the ideal of the arts of curriculum inquiry; we passionately feel that if these arts were to be widely practiced, curriculum workers would be in a better position to ask, and even demand, that their educational decisions be trusted. A central theme in the history of curriculum work in the United States and other countries is the dominance of management strategies predicated on a direct or indirect distrust of educators' judgments. We are very critical of this history. We think this is a terrible error that must be corrected, but only if educators are willing to cultivate the necessary inquiry capacities to earn the public's trust.

This is also a curriculum practice book. We provide a glossary of theoretical terms, several schematics and illustrations, numerous examples, and seven practitioner commentaries and narratives. We want this book to be used by educators who want to improve the quality of their curriculum decisions. Our focus is on action, not on theoretical conversation. We are pragmatists to the core, and we firmly believe that the ultimate meaning of ideas is located in the consequences of enacting those ideas. Simply stated, we believe that actions speak louder than words.

Because the heart of this book is the practical guidance in Chapter 3, we conclude with an "Afterword" that focuses on getting started with the seven inquiry modes. What are good ways to develop these inquiry capacities? Who should be involved? How can curriculum workers support one another? How should such key terms in current educational literature as "standards," "accountability," and "empowerment" be interpreted in light of the arts of inquiry in this book?


Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface.

1. Curriculum Wisdom in Democratic Societies.

2. Pragmatism: A Philosophy for Democratic Educators.

3. The Arts of Inquiry: Toward Holographic Thinking.

4. Personal and Structural Challenges.

5. Implications for Educational Practice.

6. Three Practitioner Commentaries.

7. Two Teacher Narratives.

8. Two Administrative Narratives.

9. Three International Commentaries.

Afterword.

Glossary.

Index.

Read More Show Less

Preface

THREE WORKING ASSUMPTIONS

Three basic assumptions have guided the creation of this book. First, we believe that it is possible to approach curriculum work as an exercise in "practical wisdom:" As you will read in Chapter 1, human wisdom is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "the capacity of judging rightly in matters relating to life and conduct; soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends; sometimes, less strictly, sound sense, especially in practical affairs:' Curriculum workers who adopt a wisdom orientation are, therefore, challenging themselves

  • To consider the "good conduct" and "enduring values" implications and consequences of their decisions;
  • To think about the relationship between educational means and ends; and
  • To engage in sophisticated practical reasoning.

Aristotle's philosophy is an important foundational source for understanding practical wisdom. He writes that the practically wise person is someone who can carefully deliberate over the concrete specifics of individual matters while keeping an eye on what is "the best for man of things attainable by action" (Aristotle, 1941, p. 1028). Aristotle continues, "Nor is practical wisdom concerned with universals only—it must also recognize particulars; for it is practical, and practice is concerned with particulars" (p. 1028). Practical wisdom requires a doubled problem solving. The intent is to solve an immediate problem while advancing enduring values. This is a "means/end" and "means/visionary end" way of operating. The problem solving is situated in both the immediate present and the visionary future. The search for the resolution of a particular problem is, at the same time, an aspiration to advance a critically informed moral vision. Sensitive perception and venturesome imagination are equally important. Though this is a very demanding professional standard for curriculum decision making, we think many educators are capable of working in this way.

Egan (2002) clarifies this standard for curriculum work. He notes that "it is always easier and more attractive to engage in technical work under an accepted paradigm than do hard thinking about the value-saturated idea of education" (p. 181). To avoid this trap, Egan writes, educators must think very broadly and deeply; they must make their conceptions of education "more elaborate and comprehensive" (p. 181), and as part of their decision making, they must carefully consider what "is the best way to be human, the best way to live" (p. 182). Approaching curriculum work in this way requires educators' best efforts to enact practical wisdom.

Second, we will approach curriculum wisdom from a love of wisdom perspective—the frame of reference that serves as the etymological source for philosophy. To love wisdom is not the same as assuming that one is wise. In fact, it is its humble opposite. To love wisdom is to practice an open-hearted and open-minded life of inquiry. Hadot (2002) presents a Western history of the practice of the love of wisdom from Socrates through Kant and Nietzsche to the present and describes Socrates' insight into this practice:

In the Apology Plato reconstructs, in his own way, the speech which Socrates gave before his judges in the trial in which he was condemned to death. Plato tells how Chaerephon, one of Socrates' friends, had asked the Delphic oracle if there was anyone wiser (sophos) than Socrates. The oracle had replied that no one was wiser than Socrates. Socrates wondered what the oracle could possibly have meant, and began a long search among politicians, poets, and artisans—people... who possessed wisdom or know-how—in order to find someone wiser than he. He noticed that all these people thought they knew everything, whereas in fact they knew nothing. Socrates then concluded that if in fact he was the wisest person, it was because he did not think he knew that which he did not know. What the oracle meant, therefore, was that the wisest human being was "he who knows that he is worth nothing as far as knowledge is concerned." This is precisely the Platonic definition of the philosopher in the dialogue entitled the Symposium: the philosopher knows nothing, but he is conscious of his ignorance. (pp. 24-25) (author's emphasis)

The love of wisdom is "a never-ending quest" (Hadot, 2002, p. 280), and we provide guidance for this disciplined way of working through the introduction of seven modes of inquiry. There is a phrase that captures the design of this book. In an essay on the critical foundations of pedagogy, Greene (1986) writes, "To do philosophy with respect to teaching ...is in part to stimulate reflections about the intentions in which teaching begins, the values that are espoused, the ends that are pursued" (p. 479). Greene envisions doing "philosophy with respect to teaching." This book alters this perspective in a subtle but important way. We envision doing curriculum in the spirit of philosophy.

To approach curriculum work in this spirit is very challenging, requiring "arts" that cannot be reduced to rules or procedures; we will consistently use the phrase arts of inquiry to refer to the practice of curriculum wisdom. Because Western insights into the love of wisdom trace back to ancient Greece, we will describe the seven modes of inquiry using both English and ancient Greek terminology. We do this to remind our readers that the arts of inquiry in this book, though applied to current, postmodern societies with democratic ideals, have a premodern heritage that traces back to Greece and other ancient civilizations.

This brings us to our third and final working assumption. We believe that an important, enduring focus for curriculum wisdom is the "democratic good life." When we use this phrase, we have in mind the exercise of responsible freedom in daily educational affairs. Our concern is with the quality of curriculum conduct, not with any particular form of government—though, of course, we don't want to deny the important relationship between curriculum and politics. This commits us to an interpretation of liberalism that is cogently summarized by Fleischacker (1999):

Most Americans are liberals ... as are, at least nominally, most people in democracies throughout the modern world. It has been plausibly argued that liberalism in the sense of a concern for liberty is the only appropriate mode of politics in the modern age. What marks modernity...is the loss of any substantial agreement about what constitutes the purpose of human life, and in that context it is essential that individuals have the liberty to explore that question, and pursue the answers they find on their own. (p. 3)

We believe educators should have the freedom or, more precisely, the professional liberty to responsibly pursue "democratically liberating" educational purposes. They do this by practicing an inquiry-based curriculum decision making focused on students' inquiry-based decision making; the seven inquiry modes in this book have been designed to encourage this teacher-student reciprocity.

Fleischacker provides philosophical and political insights into human freedom interpreted as responsible decision making, and these insights inform this curriculum text. Drawing on the work of Adam Smith and Immanuel Kant, he notes that a responsible decision requires a sophisticated judgment informed by a "free play of the faculties" (1999, p. 24). Human freedom is realized through the cultivation of this capacity for judgment:

It may sound unexciting to announce that one wants to make the world free for good judgment, but this quiet doctrine turns out to be the most sensible, most decent, and at the same time richest concept of liberty we can possibly find .... A world where everyone can develop and use their own judgment as much as possible is closer to what we really want out of freedom .... (p. 243)

This understanding of freedom is a middle way between the libertarian right, with its focus on governmental noninterference and private choice, and the egalitarian left, with its focus on multicultural inclusiveness and community solidarity (Fleischacker, 1999, p. 267). This middle ground draws on both the "negative" and "positive" conceptions of freedom, nicely summarized by Fleischacker (1999):

Berlin 1969 described two concepts of liberty: a negative one, by which I am free from constraint insofar as other people refrain from interfering with me, and a positive one, by which I am free to act insofar as I am included in the political units managing my environment. (p. 3) (author's emphasis)

Our focus is on the cultivation of responsible curriculum judgments centered on the facilitation of responsible student judgments. We believe that curriculum workers' professional freedom is bound up with students' personal freedom. Both educators and their students need to be included in informed curriculum decision making, but they should not be required to conform to any ideological script or agenda. Their inquiry capacities should be nurtured, without them being dictated to about how they should think. This delicate balancing act between active support and noninterference is the territory of "freedom" staked out by this book. We have created this book in a particular emancipatory, postideological spirit. Dewey (1963/1938) articulates this spirit: "The only freedom that is of enduring importance is freedom of intelligence, that is to say, freedom of observation and judgment exercised in behalf of purposes that are intrinsically worthwhile" (p. 61).

It is interesting to note that one of the defining characteristics of human wisdom—soundness of judgment in the choice of means and ends—is clearly operative in our middle position. Inquiry-based judgment is both the "means" for deciding how to educate for democratic living and its "end in view:" The curricular means is integrally linked to the educational ends; or, in more colorful metaphorical terms, what is good for the goose (the curriculum worker) is also good for the gander (the student).

This understanding of the integrity between means and ends in education is, of course, a central principle in Dewey's writings. Doll (2002) notes that this principle is based on an "emergent," as distinct from an "externally imposed," sense of control (p. 39). Doll (2002) explains:

External ends were anathema to Dewey. He felt that dichotomously separating the ends in activity from the activity itself reduced the activity (and the one doing the activity) to a mere means. To counteract this, he argued that ends or "aims fall within an activity instead of being furnished from without" (Dewey 1966/1916, p. 101). In his famous phrase on this point, he says (1974/1923):

Ends arise and function within action. They are not as current theories too often imply, things lying beyond activity at which the latter is directed. They are not strictly speaking ends or termini of action at all. They are terminals of deliberation, and so turning points in activity. (p. 70) (author's emphasis)

Dewey calls these turning points in activity "ends-in-view." (p. 39)

The heart of this book is the practice of certain arts of curriculum inquiry, and this disciplined inquiry requires the internal, emergent orientation described by Dewey and Doll.

We can summarize our three working assumptions by describing a set of possible alternative titles for this text. If we had based our book only on the first assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Work as Practical Wisdom or, perhaps, Curriculum Work as Moral Deliberation or, more simply, Curriculum Deliberation. If we had based our book only on the second assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Work as a Love of Wisdom or, perhaps, The Arts of Curriculum Inquiry or, more simply, Curriculum Inquiry. If we had based our book only on the third assumption, we might have titled it Curriculum Decision Making for Democratic Liberty or, perhaps, Curriculum Judgment for Student Freedom or, more simply, Curriculum Judgment.

Because we are working with all three assumptions, we have titled the book the way we have. Keep in mind, however, that when we use the title Curriculum Wisdom, we have in mind a Socratic love for pragmatic wisdom in curriculum affairs; and when we use the subtitle Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies, we have in mind the exercise of professional and student freedom through the cultivation of responsible, inquiry-based judgment.

THE DESIGN OF THE BOOK

The text's design carefully reflects our three working assumptions. Curriculum wisdom is enacted at the intersection of theory and practice, and this book reflects this balanced approach. Chapters 1 and 2 have a more theoretical flavor. Chapter 1 makes the case for the importance of curriculum wisdom as understood in this text. Because this chapter presents the rationale for the text, it has a more conceptual emphasis and draws on a wide range of literature for its support. Chapter 2 provides a brief overview of the history of American pragmatism, which is a philosophical tradition that provides a great deal of insight into curriculum wisdom. Because Chapter 2 focuses on philosophical foundations, it also taps into a broad body of literature.

Chapter 3 is the heart of the book and it is positioned between theory and practice. As mentioned above, it presents seven modes of inquiry that serve as a guide for the practice of curriculum wisdom. Each mode is carefully defined (through the use of theoretical literature) and then illustrated in one or more specific curricular contexts. The arts of practicing these seven modes of inquiry are depicted in a holographic image that serves as the organizing concept for the chapter. This strategy is used to stress the point that the seven inquiry modes are embedded in one another. "All is one and one is all" might serve as an appropriate motto for Chapter 3. Curriculum wisdom is a holistic challenge, and though the seven modes are presented separately to simplify explanation and illustration, they are deeply and playfully connected in practice. Chapter 4 discusses the kinds of personal and institutional obstacles that can inhibit, suppress, and/or overtly prohibit the practice of the arts of inquiry described in Chapter 3.

The practice of curriculum wisdom is explored in Chapters 5-9. Chapter 5 presents three perspectives on the enactment of curriculum wisdom: as a paradigm shift, as a disciplined way of living, and as systemic reform. In Chapter 6, a classroom teacher, a teacher educator, and a public school superintendent comment on these perspectives. The classroom teacher's commentary is the longest because it provides the most in-depth analysis. The other two commentaries are deliberately shorter owing to space limitations and to avoid unnecessary redundancies. The teacher educator's commentary has an additional feature in that it is based on two years of research into the challenges of teaching the arts of inquiry described in Chapter 3 to future teachers.

Chapters 7 and 8 present four practitioner narratives. The stories in Chapter 7 are teacher narratives because a kindergarten teacher and a college teacher wrote them. Two educational administrators, a director of professional development and an elementary school principal, wrote the stories in Chapter 8. The narratives in Chapters 7 and 8 are a little different than the commentaries in Chapter 6. The practitioners in Chapter 6 were asked to directly address the central concepts of this book, while the practitioners in Chapters 7 and 8 were asked only to keep the concepts in mind as they told their story. The Chapter 6 commentaries were written to clarify and illustrate, while the narratives in Chapters 7 and 8 were written to extend and elaborate.

Chapter 9 presents three international commentaries on the feasibility of practicing curriculum wisdom in three distinctive cultural contexts: Australia, sub-Saharan Africa, and India. These commentaries are quite different from the three practitioner commentaries in Chapter 6. The three international commentaries help bring the subtitle of this book, Educational Decisions in Democratic Societies, into better focus. Though this book is co-authored by two American curriculum workers, many countries in the world are self-identified democracies and are, presumably, concerned about educating for enduring democratic values. We want to acknowledge, honor, and encourage this global aspiration.

OUR TNTENDED AUDIENCE

We have in mind a general audience of curriculum workers composed of both university academics and practitioners in school and other educational settings. We envision these educators as open-minded professionals who are comfortable with an inquiring, postideological approach to curriculum decisions. We imagine them being "multitextual" in their orientation, as articulated by Pinar, Reynolds, Slattery, and Taubman (1995): "Curriculum is intensely historical, political, racial, gendered, phenomenological, autobiographical, aesthetic, theological, and international .... Curriculum is an extraordinarily complicated conversation" (pp. 847-848).

Given the audience we have in mind, we are careful to maintain a theory-practice balance; our topic (curriculum wisdom) requires such diligence. This is neither a theoretical book nor a practical book. It is both. If it had been one or the other, it would have been written differently. We therefore envision an audience that is concerned about the integration of theory and practice in the curriculum field.

This is certainly a curriculum theory book in the spirit of Walker's (2003) definition:

Curriculum theories ...are about ideals, values, and priorities. They employ reason and evidence, but in the service of passion. Curriculum theories can be analytical as well as partisan, but unlike scientific theories, they are not curriculum theories unless they are about ideals. Curriculum theories make ideals explicit, clarify them, work out their consequences for curriculum practice, compare them to other ideals, and justify or criticize them. (p. 60)

In this book we advance the ideal of the arts of curriculum inquiry; we passionately feel that if these arts were to be widely practiced, curriculum workers would be in a better position to ask, and even demand, that their educational decisions be trusted. A central theme in the history of curriculum work in the United States and other countries is the dominance of management strategies predicated on a direct or indirect distrust of educators' judgments. We are very critical of this history. We think this is a terrible error that must be corrected, but only if educators are willing to cultivate the necessary inquiry capacities to earn the public's trust.

This is also a curriculum practice book. We provide a glossary of theoretical terms, several schematics and illustrations, numerous examples, and seven practitioner commentaries and narratives. We want this book to be used by educators who want to improve the quality of their curriculum decisions. Our focus is on action, not on theoretical conversation. We are pragmatists to the core, and we firmly believe that the ultimate meaning of ideas is located in the consequences of enacting those ideas. Simply stated, we believe that actions speak louder than words.

Because the heart of this book is the practical guidance in Chapter 3, we conclude with an "Afterword" that focuses on getting started with the seven inquiry modes. What are good ways to develop these inquiry capacities? Who should be involved? How can curriculum workers support one another? How should such key terms in current educational literature as "standards," "accountability," and "empowerment" be interpreted in light of the arts of inquiry in this book?

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)