Advertisement

A Phenomenography of Educators’ Conceptions of Curriculum: Implications for Next Generation Curriculum Theorists’ Contemplation and Action

  • Jazlin EbenezerEmail author
  • Susan Harden
  • Nicholas Sseggobe-Kiruma
  • Russell Pickell
  • Suha Mohammed Hamdan
Chapter

Abstract

Doctoral curriculum seminars are important contexts to engage educators in reflective practice for transformation of thought and practice. Thus, a semester-long curriculum and instruction doctoral seminar course in an urban mid-western university was used to study a group of educators’ qualitatively differing conceptions of curriculum. As part of the assignment, all twelve educators maintained a self-reflective journal to explore their and their peers’ evolving conceptions of curriculum. Based on journal recordings, they submitted two reflective papers, each five pages long. Thus, for this research study, twenty-four papers were collected and subjected to phenomenographic analysis. Phenomenography is a qualitative approach which depicts what and how people within the same community of practice experience, perceive, conceptualize, and understand a particular phenomenon. Based on educators’ reflections, three descriptive categories of curriculum were depicted, all focusing on student learning. The study implied that twenty-first-century curriculum theorists, as part of their task, should engage educators to reflect on curriculum related to student learning; document, interpret, and represent educators’ voices on curricular issues; and become part of their curricular lives as they explore and question curriculum for their professional growth.

Keywords

Reflection Transformation Curriculum Phenomenography 

References

  1. Akerlind, G. (2008). A phenomenographic approach to developing academics’ understanding of the nature of teaching and learning. Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 13(6), 633–644.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Aoki, T. (2003). Postscript c. In W. F. Pinar & R. L. Irwin (Eds.), Curriculum in a new key: The collected works of Ted T. Aoki (pp. 453–457). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  3. Au, W. (2011). Teaching under the new taylorism: Standardization of the 21st century curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(1), 25–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bellack, A. A. (1969). History of curriculum thought and practice. Review of Educational Research, 39(3), 283–292.Google Scholar
  5. Berger, P. L., & Luekmann, T. (1967). The social construction of reality: A treatise in the sociology of knowledge. Garden City, NJ: Anchor.Google Scholar
  6. Bradbeer, J. (2004). Undergraduate geographers’ understandings of geography learning and teaching: A phenomenographic study. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, 28(1), 17–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Caswell, H. L. (1966). Emergence of the curriculum as a field of professional work and study: Precedents and promises in the curriculum field. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  8. Cornbleth, C. (2008). Climates of opinion and curriculum practices. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 40(2), 143–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Creswell, J. W. (2014). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed approaches (4th ed.). Los Angeles, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  10. Cunningham, T., Gannon, J., Kavanagh, M., Greene, J., Reddy, L., & Whitson, L. (2007). Theories of learning and curriculum design key positionalities and their relationships. Dublin Institute of Technology [Online]. Available at http://level3.dit.ie/html/issue5/tony_cunningham/cunningham.pdf.
  11. Davis, B., & Sumara, D. J. (2000). Curriculum forms: On assumed shapes of knowing and knowledge. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(6), 821–845.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dillon, J. T. (2009). The questions of curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 41(3), 343–359.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Doll, W. E. (1972). A methodology of experience. In D. Trueit (Ed.). (2012), Pragmatism, post-modernism, and complexity theory: The “fascinating imaginative realm” of William E. Doll, Jr. (pp. 49–65). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  14. Doll, W. E. (1993). A post-modern perspective on curriculum. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  15. Doll, W. E. (2002). Beyond methods. In D. Trueit (Ed.). (2012), Pragmatism, post-modernism, and complexity theory: The “fascinating imaginative realm” of William E. Doll, Jr. (pp. 81–97). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  16. Doll, W. E. (2003). Modes of thought. In D. Trueit (Ed.). (2012), Pragmatism, post-modernism, and complexity theory: The “fascinating imaginative realm” of William E. Doll, Jr. (pp. 103–110). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  17. Doll, W. E. (2005). Keeping knowledge alive. In D. Trueit (Ed.). (2012), Pragmatism, post-modernism, and complexity theory: The “fascinating imaginative realm” of William E. Doll, Jr. (pp. 111–119). New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  18. Ebenezer, J. V., & Fraser, D. (2001). First year chemical engineering students’ conceptions of energy in solution process: Phenomenographic categories for common knowledge construction. Science Education, 85, 509–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hlebowitsh, P. (2005). Generational ideas in curriculum: A historical triangulation. Curriculum Inquiry, 35(1), 73–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hurren, W. (2003). Auto’-geo’-carto’-graphia’ (a curricular collage). In W. Hurren & E. Hasebe-Ludt (Eds.), Curriculum inter-text: Place/language/pedagogy (pp. 111–121). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  21. Kliebard, H. (1968). The curriculum field in retrospect. In P. W. F. Witt (Ed.), Technology and the curriculum (pp. 68–84). New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
  22. Krull, E. (2003). Hilda Taba (1902–1967). Prospects, 33(4), 481–491.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Latta, M., & Kim, J. (2011). Investing in the curricular lives of educators: Narrative inquiry as pedagogical medium. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 43(5), 679–695.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lin, A. M. Y. (2012). Towards transformation of knowledge and subjectivity in curriculum inquiry: Insights from Chen Kuan-Hsing’s “Asia as method”. Curriculum Inquiry, 42(1), 153–178.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Lincoln, Y. S., & Guba, E. G. (1985). Naturalistic inquiry. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Macdonald, J. B. (1971). Curriculum theory. Journal of Educational Research, 64(5), 196–200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Marton, F., & Booth, S. (1997). Learning and awareness. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.Google Scholar
  28. Marton, F., & Tsui, A. (2004). Classroom discourse and the space of learning. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  29. Mason, M. (2008). Complexity theory and the philosophy of education. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 40(1), 4–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Norman, R. (2003). Whispers among places: Teaching and writing in-between past, present and future. In W. Hurren & E. Hasebe-Ludt (Eds.), Curriculum inter-text: Place/language/pedagogy (pp. 243–258). New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  31. Patary-Ching, J., & Roberson, M. (2002). Misconceptions about a curriculum-as-inquiry Framework. Language Arts, 79(6), 498–505.Google Scholar
  32. Petrina, S. (2004). The politics of curriculum and instruction design/theory/form: Critical problems, projects, units, and modules. Interchange, 35(1), 81–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Pinar, W. F. (1977). The re-conceptualization of curriculum studies. A paper presented to the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association. New York City.Google Scholar
  34. Pinar, W. F. (Ed.). (2014). International handbook of curriculum research (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  35. Pinar, W. F., & Grumet, M. R. (1976). Toward a poor curriculum. Dubuque, IA: Kendall Hunt.Google Scholar
  36. Pinar, W. F., Reynolds, W., Slattery, P., & Taubman, P. (1995). Understanding curriculum: An introduction. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar
  37. Rasmussen, H. (2012). Wrestling with data. Instructional Leadership, 33(5), 46–49.Google Scholar
  38. Ropo, E., & Autio, T. (2009). International conversations on curriculum studies: Subject, society, and curriculum. Rotterdam, the Netherlands: Sense Publishing.Google Scholar
  39. Schecter, B. (2011). “Development as an aim for education”: A reconsideration of Dewey’s vision. Curriculum Inquiry, 41(2), 250–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Schwab, J. (1983). The practical 4: Something for curriculum professors to do. Curriculum Inquiry, 13(3), 239–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Schwab, J. J. (2013). The practical: A language of the curriculum. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 45(5), 591–621. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00220272.2013.809152.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Sears, J. T., & Marshall, D. (2000). Generational influences on contemporary curriculum thought. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 32(2), 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Sohoni, D., & Petrovic, M. (2010). Teaching a global sociology: Suggestions for globalizing the U.S. curriculum. Teaching Sociology, 38(4), 287–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Trueit, D. (Ed.). (2012). Pragmatism, post-modernism, and complexity theory: The “fascinating imaginative realm” of William E. Doll, Jr. New York: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  45. Tyler, R. (1950). Basic principles of curriculum and instruction. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  46. Weenie, A. (2008). Curricular theorizing from the periphery. Curriculum Inquiry, 38(5), 545–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Wertsch, J. V. (1985). Vygotsky and the social formation of mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Westbury, I. (2005). Reconsidering Schwab’s “practicals”: A response to Peter Hlebowitsh’s “generational ideas in curriculum: A historical triangulation”. Curriculum Inquiry, 35(1), 89–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Whitehead, A. N. (1967). The aims of education and other essays. New York: The Free Press (Original publication, 1929).Google Scholar
  50. Wood, L., Ebenezer, J., & Boone, R. (2013). Effects of an intellectually caring model on urban African American alternative high school students’ conceptual change and achievement. Chemistry Education Research and Practice.  https://doi.org/10.1039/c3rp00021d.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Wraga, W., & Hlebowitsh, P. (2013). Toward a renaissance in curriculum theory and development in the USA. Journal of Curriculum Studies, 35(4), 425–437.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jazlin Ebenezer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Susan Harden
    • 1
  • Nicholas Sseggobe-Kiruma
    • 1
  • Russell Pickell
    • 1
  • Suha Mohammed Hamdan
    • 1
  1. 1.Wayne State UniversityDetroitUSA

Personalised recommendations