Editor’s Note

Susan Jean Mayer


Last year, in volume eight, section editor Patrick Roberts introduced our new North American Literature section, which grew from AAACS’s Canon Project. Now, in volume nine, section editor João Paraskeva introduces our new International Literature section, which builds upon work begun by AAACS’s Internationalization of Curriculum Studies Task Force. In his introduction, João traces the history of the efforts within the organization that have led to this new section and to the papers that will be among those first published.

Following João’s note, JAAACS introduces another new feature with Peter Applebaum’s report on the Fourth World Curriculum Studies Conference (IAACS), which took place last July in Brazil. Peter not only places his readers in Rio de Janeiro in the midst of all the action, he also links those situated reflections to a number of current issues and themes related both to the internationalization of the field and to controversies that have arisen in response to AAACS’s Canon Project. In doing so, Peter pulls in a variety of recent articles published in JAAACS and in other journals from our field. 

In touching on so much recent work, Peter sets the stage for many of the conversations sure to be sparked at this year’s meeting in San Francisco. While Peter finds a resonant propensity among attendees of both the IAACS and AAACS conferences to interrogate “in every possible form and by every possible epistemological, political, narrative, ideological, and disciplinary perspective,” he says he felt less of the “ennui and anguish” that inflect the AAACS conferences within the international setting. Rather, in Rio he sensed from all directions frank and energetic engagements with the sorts of conceptual creolizations that are native to the cultural borderlands within which we curriculum scholars increasingly dwell.

Nicholas Ng-A-Fook, Co-President of the Canadian association, gave the 2012 AAACS Presidential Address, which follows Peter’s report. Reflecting tensions evoked in both João’s and Peter’s notes, Nicholas challenges us to consider the extent to which we, as curriculum workers, meaningfully employ conceptual tools from diverse cultures and raises the question of how to inspire the seeds of an emergent cosmopolitanism within teacher candidates. At the same time, Nicholas cites Ted Aoki’s 1978 call for curriculum scholars to become “sensitive to the urgency of coming to know how to communicate cross-paradigmatically at the level of deep structure.”

The debut article in our International Literature section, by Seungho Moon, demonstrates how the work of Korean philosopher, Tasan Chong Yag-yong (1762-1836) might deepen and broaden our curricular understandings regarding the historic struggles that have unfolded in recent centuries for educational equity, increased pedagogical sensitivity, and larger pedagogical purposes for all. Over a century before Paulo Freire and decades before Leo Tolstoy, Tasan was educating peasants in the Korean countryside and arguing, within his voluminous writings, that no person of any class or caste is born wiser or more moral than any other.

Jim Jupp’s article on cultivating cosmopolitan sensibilities as a generative intellectual positioning of oneself in a contested and “double-bound” field also engages other authors in this volume by returning to the questions of unity and difference, of coherence and inclusion, raised by both the internationalization of the curriculum studies field and the notion of a curriculum studies canon. As Jim argues, “in emphasizing historical verticality, embrac[ing] both cultural studies and intellectual history, both curriculum studies and curriculum history” cosmopolitan curricular study might locate itself “as part of a new serious interlocutionary partnership over matters of human survival.”

In our final article of this first issue of volume nine, Brent Novodvorski invites us all past the deaf/hearing divide in order to interrogate the continuing suppression of deaf-centric pedagogical sensibilities and to trace this suppression back through the Western philosophical tradition to Aristotle who believed reason to be dependent upon speech. Brent’s portrayal of the hegemonic perspectives and practices still shared by many hearing educators of the deaf might be seen as a metaphor, also, for the many kinds of silence reliably faced by educators who do not know to (or how to) listen closely and carefully to their students.





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