In Conversation with Eppert and Wang's Cross-Cultural Studies in Curriculum: Eastern Thought, Educational Insights
Last spring, I taught a graduate course in the study of curriculum. The course involved studying the historical construction of curriculum and uncovering the various curricular perspectives that continue to influence curriculum practices today. This was the first time I had taught the course and I was surprised by the kind of learning that transpired. Through our discussions, readings and explorations, suffering in education became apparent. Suddenly, it was there before us and it could not be denied any longer.
This suffering showed itself in the many different kinds of realizations that we discovered in our shared inquiry. For some students it was the first time they had noticed the hidden, instrumental values influencing the institution of schooling, such as the interests to control, sort and objectify children, as well as the over-emphasis on order and certainty and how this renders experience lifeless and dull. They realized that schools have the potential, as Dewey warned, “to cramp and deaden” (1929). Many were angry at this discovery. Others expressed despair and a profound sense of sadness at the state of education today, its existence in a world that seems hopelessly bent on its own destruction.