Curriculum in Abundance – A Phenomenological Reading

Carina Henriksson


I start this essay with a statement: Curriculum in Abundance is not an “easy read”. Not even for an experienced and keen reader of educational and philosophical literature. I have wrestled with the text for several reasons. First, anthologies always pose a challenge to the reader. A number of independent texts demand to be read for their own unique value while at the same time the format of an anthology claims the interdependency of the texts. Second, I have read – not by explicit choice but by nature and culture – Curriculum in Abundance with several voices whispering on my shoulder: one belonging to the senior high school teacher, another belonging to the teacher educator and researcher, and a third belonging to the mother of two children. These three voices constantly interfered with, engaged in, and discussed the text while I was reading it. And they were doing battle because of their different areas of interest and the different worlds they inhabit. The high school teacher being criticized by the academic for being narrow-minded, unwilling to change; the mother scolding the teacher for reducing her children to mere students and worrying about her children’s future; the high school teacher devastated by the academic’s ignorance to understand the contingency of everyday pedagogical practice. The greater animosity, I believe, was between the senior high teacher and the researcher. Having lived in the midst of this battle ground since I first opened Curriculum in Abundance, Ricoeur’s notions of opening up and disclosing of the world relieved me of the burden of having to choose one of these voices for this essay. In and through my “what-ness”, I do exist in this world, beyond my “wanting and doing” (Gadamer, 1989, p. xxviii) in my “who-ness”. In other words: I would like to believe that I have read Curriculum in Abundance as a fellow human being, who cares and worries about our children’s well-being in their present as well as in their future life.

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Copyright (c) 2015 Carina Henriksson