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The Long March Toward Revitalization: Developing Standpoint in Curriculum Studies


by Wayne Au — 2012

Background/Context: There historically exists significant epistemological and political tension within the field of curriculum studies. Further, although there is some application of standpoint theory in educational research generally, and little used within curriculum studies specifically, much of it is undertheorized at best and, in many cases, misapplied or misunderstood.

Purpose/Objective/Research Question/Focus of Study: The purpose of this article is to offer a potential resolution to the epistemological and political tension within the field of curriculum studies through the development of a conception of curricular standpoint that recognizes the dialectical relationship between the subjectivity of experience and the materiality of social and economic relations. Another purpose of this article is both to illustrate curricular standpoint as both a methodological tool for analysis and to justify a politics of social justice in classroom practice.

Research Design: This study is designed as an analytic essay that addresses critical issues within curriculum studies, develops a conceptual framework to address those issues, and analyzes concrete examples that illustrate the conceptual framework.

Conclusions/Recommendations: This study concludes that the framework for curricular standpoint can serve as a viable methodological tool for curriculum studies to overcome its ongoing epistemological and political tensions, and as an epistemologically strong orientation for the curriculum taught by classroom teachers.



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Cite This Article as: Teachers College Record Volume 114 Number 5, 2012, p. 1-30
http://www.tcrecord.org ID Number: 16421, Date Accessed: 4/20/2014 8:20:03 PM

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About the Author
  • Wayne Au
    University of Washington–Bothell
    E-mail Author
    WAYNE AU is an assistant professor in the Education Program at the University of Washington–Bothell Campus, and he is an editor for the social justice education magazine, Rethinking Schools. His research focuses on critical education theory, teaching for social justice, and critical educational policy studies. Au most recently coedited The Routledge International Handbook of Critical Education (Routledge, 2010) and authored Critical Curriculum Studies: Education, Consciousness, and the Politics of Knowing (Routledge, 2011).
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