ERIC Number: ED410206
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1997
Historical Perspectives on the 'Reconceptualization' of Curriculum Studies.
Wraga, William G.
A particular historical account of the "reconceptualization" of the curriculum field has prevailed since advocates of this movement began promoting it in the late 1970s. The standard account is that two developments have led to the demise of the curriculum field and education reform. First, leaders of national reform excluded curriculum specialists in favor of cognate field specialists under the auspices of the National Science Foundation (NSF) in the 1960s. In the next decade, economic recession, leading to cutbacks, further marginalized the traditional curriculum field. Moreover, "reconceptualists" insist that traditional curriculum was designed to maintain the existing social order. Alternative historical perspectives indicate a commitment to democratic forms of educational leadership and that scientific management practices associated with social control were more influential in the field of education administration. Curriculum history written during the 1960s and 1970s may reflect the prevailing disillusionment with traditional institutions in America at that time. Curriculum histories of this period often tied their critique of the curriculum past to events of the curriculum present, drawing direct connections between the 1920s and 1970s while effectively ignoring the intervening decades. Until reconceptualized curriculum theorists confront the historically problematic assumptions of their theory, the events of the 1970s will be better understood not as a true paradigm shift but as a movement resonating in the prevailing sociopolitical milieu. Contains 93 notes. (LH)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A