The Asia-Pacific Education Researcher

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 417–425 | Cite as

Curricular Contextualization: Tracking the Meanings of a Concept

  • Preciosa FernandesEmail author
  • Carlinda Leite
  • Ana Mouraz
  • Carla Figueiredo


The concept of education has been evolving to include social concerns in the teaching and learning process (Kärkkäinen, OECD Education working paper, 2012), bringing about more attention to distinct contexts and realities in which schooling occurs. This has led to an expansion of the concept of curricular contextualization in educational, political, and curricular discourses (Smith, Clearing 118:6–43, 2005; Dowden, Aust Educ Research, 34:51–71, 2007), nevertheless, this concept needs some clarification. This article does so through a literature review process, while contributing to knowledge production through the identification of theoretical perspectives concerning curricular contextualization. The literature review process enabled the definition and mapping of this concept, and the identification of five approaches through which curricular contextualization can be developed. These approaches are: curricular contextualization focused on the place, on the student, on the pedagogical practice, on the attention to diversity, and on disciplinary contents.


Curricular contextualization Teaching and learning practices School education Perspectives on curricular contextualization 


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Copyright information

© De La Salle University 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Preciosa Fernandes
    • 1
    Email author
  • Carlinda Leite
    • 1
  • Ana Mouraz
    • 1
  • Carla Figueiredo
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research and Intervention in Education, Faculty of Psychology and Education SciencesUniversity of PortoPortoPortugal

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