ERIC Number: ED038332
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1970
Reference Count: 0
The Practical: A Language for Curriculum.
Schwab, Joseph J.; Harper, William Rainey
The field of curriculum by inveterate, unexamined, and mistaken reliance on theory has led to incoherence of curriculum and failure and discontinuity in actual schooling because theoretical constructions are ill-fitted and inappropriate to problems of actual teaching and learning. There are three major incompetencies of theory: failure of scope, the vice of abstraction, and radical plurality. A renascence of the field of curriculum will occur only if curriculum energies are diverted from theoretic pursuits to three other modes of operation: the practical, the quasi-practical, and the eclectic. The practical mode differs from the theoretic in many aspects: Its end or outcome is a decision, a selection and guide to possible action. Its subject matter is always something taken as concrete and particular and treated as indefinitely susceptible to circumstance and highly liable to unexpected change. Its problems arise from states of affairs in relation to ourselves. Its method, "deliberation," is not linear but complex, fluid, transactional aimed at identification of the desirable and at either attainment of the desired or alteration of desires. The quasi-practical is an extension of the practical methods and purposes to subject matters of increasing internal variety. The eclectic recognizes the usefulness of theory to curriculum decision, takes account of certain weaknesses of theory as ground for decision, and provides some degree of repair of these weaknesses. (JS)
Publication-Sales Section, National Education Association, 1201 16th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (Stock No. 381-11934, $1.00)
Publication Type: N/A
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Ford Foundation, New York, NY.
Authoring Institution: National Education Association, Washington, DC. Center for the Study of Instruction.